Australia Is About To Go Through A “Severe” Heatwave

NASA Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen image of 2017 heatwave

Records have been smashed this year in the Northern Hemisphere. In July, Europe reached temperatures never experienced before in recorded history, contributing to what might be one of the hottest years ever recorded.

It's now summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and this week could see Australia face some truly high temperatures, with records across the country possibly going the way of France and Belgium's earlier this year.

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Meteorologist Kim Westcott told The Syndey Morning Herald that a weak pressure pattern is allowing heat to build over the inland region with little interference from cold fronts. The system will head eastwards across the country this week.

By midweek, most of the south will be hotter than 45°C (113°F), a whopping 12-16°C higher than the average December temperatures. Westcott said there will be "days when it feels like a furnace outside," which "not going to be great for any moisture that's still around."

Police and fire departments in Queensland are issuing fire warnings, sometimes in baby Yoda form.

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Meanwhile, Queensland is urging people to stay indoors when possible.

“I urge all Queenslanders to listen to weather reports, check websites and social media pages for the state’s health and emergency authorities, and be prepared,” Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young told News.com.au.

Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day "and stay indoors when possible, preferably in a building with air conditioning or good air flow, and limit strenuous outdoor activity.”

Why should this be of concern? Taken in isolation, you could dismiss an unusually hot summer, but the scorching Australian summer is part of a trend of warmer global temperatures. It's not just Australia that being hit, it's all of us.

Ed Hawkins / Open Climate Science (CC by 4.0)

Or to put it another way:

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