Hot air and no breeze … leaves Sydney to swelter.A GIANT mass of hot air and a non-existent sea breeze transformed Sydney into an oven on Friday.
The city smashed its hottest temperature on record when thermometers at Observatory Hill reached 45.8 degrees Celsius at 2.55pm.
A meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology, Julie Evans, said the city baked under scorching temperatures partly because there was no sea breeze.
”Without a sea breeze it meant we had westerly winds billowing across the city, gathering heat off the roads and concrete buildings,” she said.
The westerly winds brought with them hot dry air that has been heating up over central Australia in the past few weeks.
”This is just part of a long heatwave that we’ve been experiencing across Australia for the past few weeks,” said Ms Evans.
A climatologist with the bureau’s National Climate Centre, Blair Trewin, said the country’s fortnight-long heatwave was significant because it had lasted so long and had covered much of the continent. ”On those two metrics alone, spatial extent and duration, the last two weeks surpasses the only previous analogue in the historical record (since 1910) – a two-week country-wide hot spell during the summer of 1972-1973,” wrote Dr Trewin on The Conversation website.
The late arrival of the summer monsoon in northern Australia meant there had been a lack of cloud over the continent’s centre which had created a significant heat build-up, said Ms Evans.
”We haven’t seen any significant exchange of cool air from the poles with the hotter air over the tropics,” she said.
Almost as quickly as the mercury rose on Friday, the temperature dropped to a more bearable 32 degrees at 5.45 pm and the bureau issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Sydney, Illawarra and the Central Tablelands.
The city should expect mild conditions next week, with a top of 30 degrees forecast on Tuesday, with 36 degrees in western Sydney. While northern inland NSW can still expect warm temperatures on Saturday rain was expected on Sunday and Monday.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.