There's going to be a heatwave in Sydney. Eeek! It's going to be really, really hot. Yada yada yada.
But is it really?
There are widespread reports this Tuesday that there's going to be a midweek Sydney heatwave as we enter the last week of summer. There's just one small problem with those reports.
Let's start at the beginning. Has Bureau of Meteorology Forecast a Heatwave?
Yes it has. But it's in a fairly small area which encompasses the ACT and parts of southern NSW.
So what sort of temperatures are we talking about?
How does the Bureau actually define a heatwave?
It defines a heatwave thus: "Three days or more of high maximum and minimum temperatures that is unusual for that location."
But temperatures of 32 and 34 aren't particularly unusual
No they're not. Sydney's February average maximum is 26 degrees. Long term averages show that there will be 2.3 days of 30 degrees or more in any given February. Sydney has only had one such day so far this month, so it's probably due another one or two.
And anyway, shouldn't a heatwave be REALLY hot, not just a bit above average?
That's the thing. As mentioned above, the Bureau of Meteorology's definition of a heatwave is "high temperatures that are unusual for that location". There's nothing particularly unusual about this week's forecast. It's above average but nothing extreme.
Chill out everybody. Which shouldn't be that hard because it's not actually THAT hot.