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Six-day heatwave comes to an end for Australia Day

Geraldton came out of the holidays the same way we went in, with six scorching days in a row. The mercury broke 43C every day from January 18 to January 23, setting a record for Geraldton’s longest string of 43C plus days ever.

The mercury rose from an already hot 36.9C on January 17 to kick off the heatwave with a top of 43.8C on January 18.

Temperatures rose steadily to earn us the perhaps unwanted title of “hottest place in Australia” on January 19, with a scorching 44.2C, but that was beaten on Saturday January 22 with a top of 44.7C before 2pm.

With a top of 43C measured at Geraldton Airport on Sunday, we beat the Christmas streak, which saw six consecutive days over 40C, but only five above 43C.

The Christmas and January heatwaves were the second-longest ever, beaten only by a seven-day stretch in February 1985.

Both heatwaves were caused by a low pressure trough sitting off the coast, spurred on by a high pressure system in the Bight pushing easterly winds off the warm interior. The current trough has now moved inland, allowing Geraldton’s famous southerly to return, which brought a relatively cool forecast of 31C on Monday.

The weather is set to warm up again this week, with 35C forecast for Australia Day, rising to a sunny 39C on Saturday.

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