Hottest August temp wrong: BOM
Sunday, August 30, 2009, 6:11 pm
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says a faulty instrument is the cause of an incorrect announcement of the hottest day in August.
BOM Queensland climate service manager Jeff Sabburg says the 38.8 degrees Celsius reading is incorrect.
He says the correct top for August in Queensland was 38.1 degrees Celsius in Bedourie, in the state’s far south-west.
The record top for August was 38.3 degrees Celsius, recorded in 1968.
While average rainfall in south-east Queensland is expected for spring, Mr Sabburg says there is a 70 per cent chance temperatures will exceed averages.
“We’ve had a heatwave in winter and coming into spring we’ve got an El Nino,” he said.
Mr Sabburg says the high temperatures are due to a lack of cold outbreaks, a lack of moisture and consistently clear skies.
In recent days, fires have continued to burn in Tallebudgera on the Gold Coast hinterland and at Brookfield, on Brisbane’s westside.
High fuel levels caused by high rainfall earlier in the year, coupled with top temperatures, add to fire danger.
Mr Sabburg says he is not surprised by precautions taken by firefighters leading up to summer.
“These anomalies fit into what climate change would indicate,” he said.
Department of Community Safety spokeswoman Lisa Martin says the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service has been proactive.
“We’ve been preparing for this summer because of high fuel levels from to high rainfall earlier in the year,” she said.
Ms Martin says 2,000 hazard reduction burns will be carried out by the end of August.
On hand will be 34,000 rural volunteers, plus 4,500 permanent auxiliary firefighters.