This has been a week of weather extremes in parts of the United States. While frigid temperatures and heavy rain have swept across much of the country, weather extremes of a different kind are hitting parts of Australia.
For days, most of southern Australia has been baking under some of the most extreme heat in memory. This is summertime in Australia, and much of the country has been under heatwave conditions since November.
The capital city of the state of South Australia is one of many places that have broiled under unprecedented heat this week. Adelaide’s high temperature shattered a 130-year-old record on Thursday — more than 115-degrees Fahrenheit — the highest mark ever for any major Australian city.
Heat stroke, air pollution and wildfires are all made worse by the extended high temperatures.
90 wild horses in the state of Victoria have died because of the heat. So have bats, fish, and other wildlife.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology says Sydney will be under severe heatwave conditions through the weekend — with some suburban temperatures topping 107 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures are expected to ease in much of the south over the weekend and into next week, but a lot of damage had already been done.
Last month, Australia suffered through its hottest December since records have been kept—and January may be heading for another record.