Australian capital city Canberra swelters through hottest summer on record

CANBERRA — Australia’s capital city Canberra sweltered though its hottest summer on record in 2016/17, the nation’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) revealed on Thursday.

Consistently hot temperatures, heatwaves and warm nights all contributed to Canberra’s hottest ever summer, with the BoM saying a staggering 53 days — almost two-thirds of the summer — experienced top temperatures of more than 30 Celsius degrees in the nation’s capital.

In a statement released on Thursday, the BoM confirmed the thoughts of many Canberrans that the 2016/17 summer was both unusually warm and dry.

“Summer was notable for the persistence of high temperatures, with Canberra Airport recording a record-breaking 53 days above 30 Celsius degrees,” the statement said.

“Six nights remained above 20 degrees Celsius during the summer, the second-highest number on record.”

In addition, the maximum temperature sat above 35 Celsius degrees on 18 days, while heatwave conditions resulted in Canberra Airport recording two of its five hottest ever days on record in consecutive days in February.

The BoM said the average maximum temperature at its climate site in Canberra sat almost 3.5 degrees higher than its historical average at 30.5 Celsius degrees during the 2016/17 summer.

Meanwhile the summer was also the driest in more than a decade; rainfall was found to be 45 percent below the Canberra Airport average.

Elsewhere, major cities Sydney and Brisbane also sweltered through their hottest summer seasons on record, while Melbourne has a relatively mild December to February period. PNA/