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John Wheeler, Published March 11 2013

Weather Talk: Summer sets record for heat in Australia

While we wait for signs of spring, people living on the other side of the world are hoping for cooler weather. Summer in Australia goes from December through February, and this past summer has been a hot one. In fact, it has been the hottest on record. A new all-time record high temperature of 114 degrees was set at Sydney on Jan. 18. Moomba, in South Australia, reached 121 degrees.

Across the entire nation, the average temperature this past summer was about 2 degrees above average, which exceeds the previous record set in 1997-98 by a tenth of a degree. National weather records for Australia go back to 1910 and indicate a steady warming trend similar to what has been observed in many places around the world. But Australia has been extraordinarily hot in recent years. Six of the 10 hottest summers have taken place since 2000. Australia is an arid continent and is known for its heat waves and droughts.

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