Australia has recorded it’s hottest July since records began.
The mean maximum temperature was 2.62C above the average maximum temperature and 0.66C above the previous record set in 1975.
BOM senior climatologist Blair Trewin says the warm weather, caused by a ridge of high pressure over the sub tropics, is normal for Australia in July but what’s missing are the usual big fronts or lows hitting the south.
He said no deep southerly flows have pushed cool air up into central and northern Australia.
“That’s something that just hasn’t happened this year.”
And it’s the north of Australia that has felt most of heat, average maximum temperatures in much of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia were the highest on record.
In Australia’s south there were no July temperature records but the average maximum was still 1C above the average.
Inland NSW and northern South Australia were the warmest, there temperatures were up to 3C above the average maximum and a warm front in late July saw record maximum daily high temperatures set in NSW, Victoria, WA and SA.
For WA it wasn’t just one episode or one region, the state saw record temperatures in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions recorded on July 14, 27 and 28, while 3000km southeast, Eucla and Forrest recorded their first maximums at or above 30C on July 28.
Mr Trewin said the long-term warming trend is “about a degree over the last century”.
He said 70 years ago exactly the same July weather patterns would have probably only resulted in a one-and-a-half degree temperature increase above the long-term average.
“But the long-term warming trend changes the risk, the sort of weather extremes you might have got once in a hundred years at the start of the last century, you may now get once in 20 years or once in 10 years now.”