Australia's Coldest Place Just Had Its Hottest Day Ever
In winter it plummeted to minus 14.2. On Wednesday, it had its first 30 degree day.
There's no shortage of places that suffered through extreme temperatures in Australia on Wednesday, especially in NSW and South Australia.
As you can see on the Bureau of Meteorology's MetEye graphic below, a range of different places were still hovering around 46 or 47 degrees at 5:30 pm.
But one small Australian location experienced a very unusual weather record this afternoon.
It's the place that recorded the coldest temperature anywhere in Australia last year (minus 14.2 on August 29), and which -- believe it or not -- had never experienced a 30 degree day.
It has now.
Perisher Valley is the commercial and geographic heart of Australia's largest ski resort Perisher. The Bureau of Meteorology has a weather station there at 1738 metres above sea level.
The average January maximum at Perisher Valley is 19 degrees. But at 1:20 pm on Wddnesday, it soared more than 10 degrees above that, equalling the old record with an official reading of 29.8 degrees, and smashing the old January record of 28.2.
Then later in the afternoon, it hit 30.1. Yes, Perisher Valley officially topped 30 for the first time ever.
No wonder resort staff have spent much of this week wishing it was winter.
Over the next two days, the 30 degree mark might get a nudge again, with a forecast top of 28 on both Thursday and Friday.
Meanwhile, several other locations in the Australian Alpine region had record or record-equalling temperatures on Wednesday.
The weather station at Mt Ginini, at 1760 metres above sea level in the Brindabella ranges outside Canberra, had its hottest ever day by more than a degree with a top of 32.2.
And Mt Hotham ski resort in Victoria equalled its hottest ever day of 28.1 degrees (While Perisher is typically warmer than Hotham by day in all seasons, it's colder overall because of much colder night temperatures, which again, is why we've called it "Australia's coldest place").
Are these extreme temperatures a climate change thing?
As Anita Pyne from the Bureau of Meteorology told 10 daily earlier this week, you cannot attribute a single event (like this week's heatwave) to climate change, but you can say that such events will "increase in frequency".