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Adelaide's 15-day heatwave was A ONCE IN 3,000 YEAR OCCURRENCE, an atmospheric scientist says. "The odds are about the same as tossing 12 coins and getting all heads or all tails." "This heat wave is close to being off the scale." Nuriootpa, in the Barossa Valley, recorded 13 days over 35 degrees - a ONE IN 1,000 YEAR EVENT, while Loxton in the state's Riverland had 15 days over 35 degrees which was a ONE IN 200 YEAR EVENT. Adelaide's 15-day heatwave surpassed the previous capital city heatwave record of Perth, which experienced 10 days over 35 degrees in February 1988. The all-time national heatwave record was set in Marble Bar in northern Western Australia, which had 160 consecutive days at or above 37.8 degrees celsius (or 100 degrees fahrenheit) in the summer of 1923-24.
AUSTRALIA - The record-breaking heatwave across south-eastern Australia is predicted to ease today, but farmers are already counting the cost in the millions of dollars. Temperatures in Adelaide hit 40.5 degrees yesterday, the 15th straight day they have soared above 35 degrees. The heat has had a devastating effect on South Australia's farming sector and raised serious doubts about the sustainability of irrigation in the lower Murray River. Apple and pear growers have suffered severe damage from heat and wind. "Most crops, like soft vegetables, can tolerate three or four days of extreme temperatures, but that's about the limit." The situation is at its most severe in the final reaches of the Murray River, including Lake Alexandrina, where water levels are so low even farmers with irrigation rights are finding their pumps left high and dry. Wine grape yields have fallen by half or more in just a week. Melbourne has a chance to break the 68-year-old record for its hottest March. The city is averaging 30.7 degrees for the month, and the record is 28.9 degrees. "It's a tough record to break, and the fact that we're in a position to possibly break it is an indication of an exceptional month." Image Above: Water levels are so low near the Murray mouth, and salinity levels so high, that most irrigators cannot use it, and are buying water from elsewhere.
Photo: David Mariuz
HEAT WAVE RECORDS HAVE BEEN BROKEN across Eyre Peninsula this month, in the HOTTEST MARCH ON RECORD.
Nature has a way of continually surprising us and inspiring awe within us, and it seems there are just as many fantastical wonders t...