It is really, really, really hot in Australia right now.
On Thursday, Onslow, a coastal town in Western Australia north of Perth, recorded a high temperature of 123.3 degrees Fahrenheit (50.7 degrees Celsius). That sweltering heat ties the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded in the southern hemisphere, which was set in 1960 in the South Australia outback.
While Onslow was the hottest spot on the continent on Thursday, it wasn’t alone in suffering through the heat. The nearby towns of Roebourne and Mardie both recorded temperatures of 122.9 degrees Fahrenheit (50.5 degrees Celsius), both of which are records as well. Before this week, Australia has only crossed the 122-degree-Fahrenheit (50-degree-Celsius) mark three times in its history. Now, it’s happened at three locations in one day—and even more intense heat is on the way.
Luke Huntington, a meteorologist at Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, told local outlet WA Today that the dry spring the area has had could be contributing to the record-setting temperatures—and that this trend could continue.
“The Pilbara region has had persistent hot temperatures over the last few months. and there has been no rainfall to really take away the hot air that has built up,” he said. “Over the next few months. there is a high chance that temperatures on a day-to-day basis will be above average, at least until the wet season rains hit properly.”
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