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Records Tumble As Eastern Australia Sweltered Through The Weekend

NSW and Qld had their hottest February days on record.
Surf lifesavers at Sydney's Bondi Beach on Saturday.  AFP / William WEST
Surf lifesavers at Sydney's Bondi Beach on Saturday. AFP / William WEST

It was the weekend that likely saw more Aussies frying an egg on the bonnet of their car than ever before. The brutal heatwave that punished large parts of Queensland, NSW and South Australia saw temperature records tumble across the eastern half of the nation.

New South Wales

According to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Meteorology, the statewide maximum temperature average looks like it will come in at 44.02 degrees Celsius for Saturday. This will break the record for highest February statewide maximum for the second day in a row. Until Friday, the NSW average for February had never breached 42 degrees.

However, Saturday will fall just short of the all-time record of 44.06 degrees Celsius, which occurred on January 14 1939. The notorious heatwave that year resulted in dozens of deaths and huge loss of farmland.

Temperatures reached an unforgiving 47 degrees Celsius in several parts of the country, with the highest notch on the thermometer in New South Wales recorded at Ivanhoe Airport at 47.6. Richmond and Penrith were close runner-ups at 47 and 46.9 respectively.

Additionally, NSW took out eight places in the top ten hottest days recorded for February.

The combination of wind, heat and humidity created the worst ever fire conditions in the history of NSW on Sunday. Five emergency fires were declared by the NSW RFS and many properties and farmland were destroyed.


On Sunday, four Queensland towns had their hottest day since records began, while 13 towns had their hottest February day. South Queensland suffered the most, with many towns hitting 40 degrees Celsius before midday. Thargomindah broke the hottest February day on record -- taking the crown from Ballera -- reaching 47.2 degrees Celsius.

Toowoomba got its name on the map, reaching 40 degrees Celsius for the first time since records began. Onya' Toowoomba.

Birdsville recorded 45.5 on Saturday, which a police officer took advantage of by frying an egg on his bonnet. Hear the sizzle and weep:

South Australia

Even Adelaide was sizzling this week, experiencing three consecutive days of temperatures over 40 degrees during the week. The last time that happened was in February 1914. Many towns reached their hottest day on record on Wednesday.

Records weren't broken in South Australia over the weekend, but it was still bloody hot. Sweatiest locations include Tarcoola, reaching 46.4, and Marree at 46.3. They just had a couple of degrees to go to beat Renmark at 48.2, 7 February 2009.

Western Australia

If you're in Perth, frying an egg on the bonnet might not be such a great idea. In the 24 hours from 9am on Friday, Perth recorded 114.4mm rainfall, which makes it the second wettest day on record, behind the 120.6mm on 9 February 1992. Crazy.

Emergency services on Friday issued a warning for people to leave parts of Northam, about 100 kilometres east of Perth, due to the inundation. Residents were also advised to watch water levels, get sand bags in place, and prepare oilets and drains for sewerage back flow.

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