Australia has hottest spring on record as temperatures soar

By Wendy Frew
Australia editor, BBC Online

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image captionAustralia has experienced its hottest spring on record

November was the hottest month and ended the hottest spring on record for Australia, meteorologists say.

The soaring temperatures are part of a trend putting the world on track for the warmest year on record.

Maximum temperatures were warmer than average across nearly the entire continent, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

Nine of the warmest springs on record occurred since 2002, said BoM Manager of Climate Monitoring Karl Braganza.

"Australia has been warming up, by about 0.9C since 1910," Dr Braganza told the BBC.

Australian temperature records go back to 1910.

"There were two really significant heat waves on the east [of Australia] and there were a couple of [heatwave] duration records," he said.

A 13-day stretch of above-40C weather ended on 25 November in Longreach in north-west Queensland. It was some of the hottest weather in living memory for the Queensland town.

"In the past couple of years, we have seen heatwaves starting earlier in the season," said Dr Braganza.

'NSW baking'

Spring 2014 was the warmest on record for Australia for the second year running. Both mean temperatures and maximum temperatures were highest on record for the season.

Spring rainfall for Australia as a whole was 34% below the long-term mean.

In the Murray-Darling Basin, in the interior of south-eastern Australia, this spring was the equal tenth driest on record. The area is one of the most important agricultural areas in the country.

Some of the hottest temperatures in November were recorded at Roxby Downs in South Australia with 46.1C, and in Richmond in NSW with 45.3C.

"On 23 November, most of NSW was baking," said Dr Braganza.

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