The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has had to add extra colours to its temperature charts due to the recent high temperatures. The range now extends to 54 °C. This tops the all-time record temperature of 50.7 °C reached on 2 January 1960 at Oodnadatta Airport in South Australia. Australia has always had higher extremes than the UK, the highest temperature recorded here was 38.5 °C in 2003.
David Jones, head of the bureau's climate monitoring and prediction unit, said "The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because the forecast coming from the bureau's model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 °C".
Today temperatures fell by about 10 °C but they are predicted to rise again by the weekend.
Assistant Director of Weather Services Alasdair Hainsworth said, "The cool change across south-eastern Australia last night has delivered some relief for southern Australia, but we are by no means through the woods yet, with very hot temperatures forecast for Western Australia today, and building again throughout central Australia".