Perth Heatwave: Temperatures Could Top 40 For Five Consecutive Days

10/02/2016 6:49 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Swimmers and bodyboarders enjoy the water late at dusk during a Perth summer heatwave.

Perth is having a heatwave. There's a reason the local cricket team is called the Perth Scorchers. It's because it's always BLOODY HOT in summer in Perth.

But right now, things are hotter than usual. Wednesday was the fourth day in a row that Australia's fourth most populous city exceeded 40 degrees. But are locals complaining? They are not.

Instead, they are copping this thing with typical West Australian defiance and morbid humour. Like this.

And this.

And this.

Even the cops are having a laugh.

So what's going on? Well, Perth is typically much hotter and drier than all other Australian capitals in January except Darwin. So in other words it's easily our hottest non-tropical city. Here's a table because tables are awesome and we haven't done a weather table since this story.

Average daily max February temps in Australian capital cities

Darwin 32.2

Perth 31.7

Brisbane 29.9

Adelaide 29.5

Canberra 27.1

Melbourne 25.8

Sydney 25.8

Hobart 21.7

Not to bore you with too much dreary weather jargon, but the prolonged hot spell is being caused by a high pressure system which has more or less parked its large ugly backside in the Indian ocean. This is causing easterly winds which funnel the hot, dry air of the interior towards the coastline.

That means that the poor old Fremantle Doctor -- the relieving cool wind which blows in on many hot Perth afternoons -- is not really being given a fair go. And it's worse further up the coast. Temperatures of up to 47 degrees have been reported in the Gascoyne region, which is the zone near the two sticky-outy bits of land about halfway up the WA coast.

perth heatwave

The red bits mean it's probably best not to run a marathon while wearing a hoodie today

This is the first time that there has been four consecutive days of 40-plus weather in February. Sunday hit 41, Monday was 43, Tuesday was 41 and Wednesday peaked at 40.3 at around 11:30am. Thursday could peak at 38. A couple of extra degrees and the old three-day February record will extend to five.

Authorities have issued all their usual warnings and people are reminded that all fires in the open air, hot work such as metal work, grinding, welding, soldering or gas cutting without a permit, and any other activity that may lead to a fire, are all prohibited.

What's not prohibited -- and in fact is pretty much compulsory -- is soldiering through the heatwave with typical WA grit and disdain for eastern states whingers who melt like Paddle Pops in a sauna the minute the mercury hits about 35.

Here's how just one very cool local is coping.

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