Late 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave

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Late 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave

Dates Late October – mid November 2009
Areas affected South Australia, Victoria, southern New South Wales, ACT, Tasmania
Casualties Suspected but unconfirmed[1]

The late 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave (also referred to as the November 2009 heat wave and the South Australian heat wave) was a heat wave that occurred in the southeastern Australian states of South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales. Daily maximum temperatures during the heat wave were roughly 10 °C (18 °F) above average in many locations. Capital cities Adelaide and Melbourne recorded temperatures over 35 °C (95 °F), and some regional towns recorded temperatures above 40 °C (104 °F).[2] Above average temperatures in the region began in late October and persisted until mid-November 2009.

Many locations through the region broke temperature records for November. This heat wave was the second experienced in the region within a 10-month period, following the early 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave in January and February 2009, to which 374 deaths were attributed. Although the earlier heat wave was far more intense, the later heat wave was more extensive and long lasting.

The heat wave was caused by a combination of factors, including hot, dry winds caused by a slow-moving high-pressure system that had settled over the Tasman Sea, an El Niño event occurring in the Pacific Ocean, and gradually rising temperatures across southern Australia, probably as a result of global warming.[3]

Overview[edit]

Although many locations in the region experienced above average temperatures at the end of October 2009, temperatures dropped in the beginning of November, thus the heat wave is generally cited to have begun on 6 or 7 November 2009. The heat wave was expected to last until the end of the week (13 November) with high temperatures forecast to last until such time.[2]

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the high pressure system was expected to move on, enabling a trough of low pressure to bring cooler temperatures to the region by 15 or 16 November.

Consequences[edit]

Conditions involving higher than average temperatures over prolonged periods of time, coupled with a few days of gusty northerly winds, has led to a moderately increased risk of bushfires occurring in the region. On 10 November, three controlled burns in Victoria broke containment lines after being caught in high speed wind gusts. As a result, the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Country Fire Authority suspended all controlled burning operations until the end of the week. A senior forecaster for the Bureau of Meteorology stated, "We've generally had winds in that 20 km/h range, and although fire dangers are in the very high range and today [11 November] they are getting into the severe range in the north west of the state, we're not getting the strong winds which give us extreme fire dangers."[4]

Electricity usage during the heat wave increased significantly, due to increased demand from air conditioning.

The world's oldest sheep, named Lucky, died at age 23 during the course of the heat wave. Lucky died at Lake Bolac where she had been raised after a week of temperatures in excess of 30 °C (86 °F).[5]

Human health[edit]

It is suspected that some deaths attributable to the heat wave occurred. Residents living in north-facing rooms in Melbourne's public housing high-rise buildings wrapped neighbours in wet blankets during the peak of the heat wave. A number of deaths occurred on the northern sides of the high-rise public housing during the Jan–Feb heat wave. Housing for the Aged Action Group has been campaigning for air-conditioning in these rooms for over 20 years.[1]

Responses[edit]

Many sources have postulated that the occurrence of a heat wave outside of normal summer months for the region, may be attributable to climate change. A spokesperson from the Climate Emergency Action Network related, "Adelaide's unprecedented November heatwave is classic climate-change weather."[6]

November records[edit]

Mildura, Victoria[edit]

  • 13 Consecutive days over 30 °C (86 °F)
  • 8 Consecutive days over 35 °C (95 °F)
  • 6 Consecutive days over 38 °C (100 °F)
  • 2 Consecutive days over 40 °C (104 °F)
  • Average daily maximum for the first 16 days of November: 35.2 °C (95.4 °F)

Melbourne, Victoria[edit]

  • 13 Consecutive days over November daily maximum average
  • 5 Consecutive days over 32 °C (90 °F) (most consecutive days over 30 °C (86 °F) in November since 1896)
  • 7 Consecutive days over 27 °C (81 °F)
  • Average daily maximum 29 October – 16 November: 28.1 °C (82.6 °F)
  • Average daily maximum 7 – 14 November: 32.4 °C (90.3 °F)

During the hottest week of the heat wave the average maximum high was 10.5 °C (18.9 °F) higher than the normal November average maximum high of 21.9 °C (71.4 °F). Throughout the entire heat wave, the average maximum was 6.2 °C (11 °F) hotter than normal. During the peak of the heat wave, Melbourne experienced a total of five consecutive days over 32 °C (90 °F) according to the Bureau of Meteorology. This is its longest successive run of 30 °C (86 °F)+ days in November since 1896, when the city experienced a run of six 30 °C (86 °F) days in a row during November. Temperatures on 9 and 10 November of 35.5 °C (95.9 °F) and 36.3 °C (97.3 °F) respectively, were the hottest days since Black Saturday on 7 February 2009, when the maximum hit a record 46.4 °C (115.5 °F) in Melbourne, during the 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave 10 months earlier.[7] 7.5?

Adelaide, South Australia[edit]

  • 10 Consecutive days over 30 °C (86 °F)
  • 8 Consecutive days over 35 °C (95 °F) – New record set on 12 November 2009 and broken again on 13 November after breaking the previous 4 consecutive days over 35 °C (95 °F) record which was set in 1894.[8]
  • 6 Consecutive days over 38 °C (100 °F) – New record set after breaking the previous 3 consecutive days over 38 °C (100 °F) record which was set in 1888, 1922 and 1984.[9]
  • Average daily maximum 1 November – 20 November: 34.0 °C (93.2 °F)[10]
  • Average daily maximum 8 – 15 November: 38.6 °C (101.5 °F)[10]
  • Highest November temperature ever recorded – 43.0 °C (109.4 °F) 19 November 2009 at 4:32pm ACDT. Previous record was 42.0 °C (107.6 °F) recorded on 13 November 1993.[11]

Wagga Wagga, New South Wales[edit]

  • 22 Consecutive days over November daily maximum average.
  • 16 Consecutive days over 30 °C (86 °F)
  • 3 Consecutive days over 35 °C (95 °F)
  • 2 Consecutive days over 40 °C (104 °F)
  • November 2009 maximum average: 32.8 °C (91.0 °F) which was 7.2 °C (12.9 °F) above the long-term average of 25.6 °C (78.1 °F).
  • November 2009 minimum average: 15.8 °C (60.4 °F) which was 5.1 °C (9.1 °F) above the long-term average of 10.7 °C (51.3 °F).

On 16 November, Wagga Wagga broke the record of seven days over 35 °C (95 °F) set in 1981 with thirteen days over 35 °C (95 °F) so far recorded in November 2009.[12]

30 November, Wagga Wagga broke the record mean maximum, recording 32.8 with the previous record 30.2 °C (86.4 °F) set in 1982 and the mean minimum of 15.8 °C (60.4 °F) with the previous record was 14.7 °C (58.5 °F) which was set in 2007.[13]

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory[edit]

  • November 2009 maximum average: 29.0 °C (84.2 °F) which was 6.3 °C (11.3 °F) above the long-term average of 22.7 °C (72.9 °F).
  • November 2009 minimum average: 12.7 °C (54.9 °F) which was 4.0 °C (7.2 °F) above the long-term average of 8.7 °C (47.7 °F).
  • Highest November temperature ever recorded – 39.9 °C (103.8 °F) 20 November 2009.

Temperatures (daily maximum)[14][edit]

Adelaide, South Australia[edit]

October 2009

  • 27th – 26.3 °C (79.3 °F)
  • 28th – 30.1 °C (86.2 °F)
  • 29th – 33.7 °C (92.7 °F)
  • 30th – 33.1 °C (91.6 °F)
  • 31st – 32.5 °C (90.5 °F)

November

  • 1st – 34.9 °C (94.8 °F)
  • 2nd – 37.9 °C (100.2 °F)
  • 3rd – 20.0 °C (68.0 °F)
  • 4th – 19.3 °C (66.7 °F)
  • 5th – 20.4 °C (68.7 °F)
  • 6th – 28.2 °C (82.8 °F)
  • 7th – 34.4 °C (93.9 °F)
  • 8th – 36.7 °C (98.1 °F)
  • 9th – 37.0 °C (98.6 °F)
  • 10th – 38.6 °C (101.5 °F)
  • 11th – 39.2 °C (102.6 °F)
  • 12th – 39.0 °C (102.2 °F)
  • 13th – 38.7 °C (101.7 °F)
  • 14th – 39.5 °C (103.1 °F)
  • 15th – 39.4 °C (102.9 °F)
  • 16th – 31.9 °C (89.4 °F)
  • 17th – 29.0 °C (84.2 °F)
  • 18th – 38.9 °C (102.0 °F)
  • 19th – 43.0 °C (109.4 °F) – New November record breaking the previous record of 42.0 °C (107.6 °F) set on 30 November 1993
  • 20th – 34.4 °C (93.9 °F)[11]

Mildura, Victoria[edit]

October 2009

  • 26th – 25.5 °C (77.9 °F)
  • 27th – 28.4 °C (83.1 °F)
  • 28th – 32.0 °C (89.6 °F)
  • 29th – 33.6 °C (92.5 °F)
  • 30th – 35.8 °C (96.4 °F)
  • 31st – 38.2 °C (100.8 °F)

November

  • 1st – 39.3 °C (102.7 °F)
  • 2nd – 40.3 °C (104.5 °F)
  • 3rd – 23.8 °C (74.8 °F)
  • 4th – 24.2 °C (75.6 °F)
  • 5th – 23.4 °C (74.1 °F)
  • 6th – 30.0 °C (86.0 °F)
  • 7th – 35.3 °C (95.5 °F)
  • 8th – 34.7 °C (94.5 °F)
  • 9th – 36.3 °C (97.3 °F)
  • 10th – 38.5 °C (101.3 °F)
  • 11th – 41.0 °C (105.8 °F)
  • 12th – 41.1 °C (106.0 °F)
  • 13th – 38.2 °C (100.8 °F)
  • 14th – 40.3 °C (104.5 °F)
  • 15th – 41.6 °C (106.9 °F)
  • 16th – 35.3 °C (95.5 °F)
  • 17th – 31.6 °C (88.9 °F)
  • 18th – 42.1 °C (107.8 °F)
  • 19th – 41.7 °C (107.1 °F)
  • 20th – 35.3 °C (95.5 °F)[15]

Forecast

  • 19th – 43 °C (109 °F)
  • 20th – 38 °C (100 °F)
  • 21st – 26 °C (79 °F) (rain)

Wagga Wagga, New South Wales[edit]

October 2009[16]

  • 27th – 24.4 °C (75.9 °F)
  • 28th – 29.3 °C (84.7 °F)
  • 29th – 25.7 °C (78.3 °F)
  • 30th – 31.1 °C (88.0 °F)
  • 31st – 34.1 °C (93.4 °F)

November[17]

  • 1st – 36.5 °C (97.7 °F)
  • 2nd – 38.5 °C (101.3 °F)
  • 3rd – 30.6 °C (87.1 °F)
  • 4th – 25.7 °C (78.3 °F)
  • 5th – 27.8 °C (82.0 °F)
  • 6th – 28.8 °C (83.8 °F)
  • 7th – 30.5 °C (86.9 °F)
  • 8th – 32.3 °C (90.1 °F)
  • 9th – 34.9 °C (94.8 °F)
  • 10th – 35.7 °C (96.3 °F)
  • 11th – 37.9 °C (100.2 °F)
  • 12th – 40.2 °C (104.4 °F)
  • 13th – 33.5 °C (92.3 °F)
  • 14th – 35.7 °C (96.3 °F)
  • 15th – 37.9 °C (100.2 °F)
  • 16th – 38.5 °C (101.3 °F)
  • 17th – 32.5 °C (90.5 °F)
  • 18th – 35.2 °C (95.4 °F)
  • 19th – 40.8 °C (105.4 °F)
  • 20th – 41.8 °C (107.2 °F) - 1.0 °C (1.8 °F) off equalling the 1997 November record of 42.8 °C (109.0 °F).
  • 21st – 30.3 °C (86.5 °F)
  • 22nd – 31.6 °C (88.9 °F)
  • 23rd – 25.6 °C (78.1 °F) – First average November day
  • 24th – 23.6 °C (74.5 °F)
  • 25th – 36.3 °C (97.3 °F)[18]

Forecast

  • 26th – 37 °C (99 °F)
  • 27th – 31 °C (88 °F)
  • 28th – 27 °C (81 °F)
  • 29th – 23 °C (73 °F)

Canberra, ACT[edit]

November

  • 1st – 31.7 °C (89.1 °F)
  • 2nd – 33.3 °C (91.9 °F)
  • 3rd – 31.3 °C (88.3 °F)
  • 4th – 24.4 °C (75.9 °F)
  • 5th – 18.3 °C (64.9 °F)
  • 6th – 20.3 °C (68.5 °F)
  • 7th – 24.5 °C (76.1 °F)
  • 8th – 28.9 °C (84.0 °F)
  • 9th – 31.6 °C (88.9 °F)
  • 10th – 33.0 °C (91.4 °F)
  • 11th – 33.2 °C (91.8 °F)
  • 12th – 35.2 °C (95.4 °F)
  • 13th – 26.6 °C (79.9 °F)
  • 14th – 33.0 °C (91.4 °F)
  • 15th – 33.9 °C (93.0 °F)
  • 16th – 34.3 °C (93.7 °F)
  • 17th – 28.1 °C (82.6 °F)
  • 18th – 31.5 °C (88.7 °F)
  • 19th – 38.2 °C (100.8 °F)
  • 20th – 39.9 °C (103.8 °F) – New November record breaking the 1997 record of 38.9 °C (102.0 °F).
  • 21st – 29.8 °C (85.6 °F)
  • 22nd – 29.6 °C (85.3 °F)

Melbourne, Victoria[edit]

October 2009

  • 29th – 30.6 °C (87.1 °F)
  • 30th – 26.5 °C (79.7 °F)
  • 31st – 33.1 °C (91.6 °F)

November

  • 1st – 20.1 °C (68.2 °F)
  • 2nd – 29.4 °C (84.9 °F)
  • 3rd – 21.9 °C (71.4 °F)
  • 4th – 18.1 °C (64.6 °F)
  • 5th – 19.3 °C (66.7 °F)
  • 6th – 25.4 °C (77.7 °F)
  • 7th – 32.2 °C (90.0 °F)
  • 8th – 34.2 °C (93.6 °F)
  • 9th – 35.5 °C (95.9 °F)
  • 10th – 36.3 °C (97.3 °F)
  • 11th – 34.4 °C (93.9 °F)
  • 12th – 29.8 °C (85.6 °F)
  • 13th – 27.1 °C (80.8 °F)
  • 14th – 30.3 °C (86.5 °F)
  • 15th – 25.8 °C (78.4 °F)
  • 16th – 22.7 °C (72.9 °F)
  • 17th – 22.6 °C (72.7 °F)
  • 18th – 33.4 °C (92.1 °F)
  • 19th – 34.6 °C (94.3 °F) – Hottest November overnight minimum: 22.9 °C (73.2 °F)
  • 20th – 38.3 °C (100.9 °F) – Hottest day in Melbourne since Black Saturday[19]

Hobart, Tasmania[edit]

November

  • 19th – 31.3 °C (88.3 °F)
  • 20th – 32.6 °C (90.7 °F)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Northcote Leader
  2. ^ a b TheAge.com.au
  3. ^ "Springtime Heatwave in Southeastern Australia". Earth Observatory. NASA. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  4. ^ The Age, "Hot in the city: Melbourne heads for record November heat", 11 November 2009
  5. ^ "World's oldest sheep, Lucky, dies in Australia at 23". British Broadcasting Corporation. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  6. ^ The Age, "SA heatwave is 'climate-change weather'", 10 November 2009
  7. ^ The West Australian, "Melbourne swelters in November heatwave", 9 November 2009
  8. ^ "Adelaide sweats in landmark heatwave". ABC News Online. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  9. ^ Dutschke, Brett (12 November 2009). "Little relief from record heat in SAe". Weatherzone. Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "Daily maximum temperature ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN)". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Latest Weather Observations for South Australia". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  12. ^ Reid, Dan (16 November 2009). "Extreme temperatures forecast (video)". Prime Television. Retrieved 16 November 2009. 
  13. ^ "Wagga cops record heatwave". ABC Riverina. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  14. ^ Bureau of Meteorology
  15. ^ "Latest Weather Observations for Victoria". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  16. ^ "Wagga Wagga, New South Wales October 2009 Daily Weather Observations". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  17. ^ "Wagga Wagga, New South Wales November 2009 Daily Weather Observations". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  18. ^ "Latest Weather Observations for New South Wales". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  19. ^ "Latest Weather Observations for the Melbourne Area". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 20 November 2009.