Birds drop from trees as temperatures soar in WA outback

By 1news.co.nz and is republished with permission

One of Australia’s hottest towns has sweltered through a brutal four-week stretch of daily maximum temperatures above 41C that has caused birds to fall from trees.

The temperature peaked at 45C in Marble Bar, in northwest Western Australia, on Friday, with suggestions the record books would soon be rewritten if the hot spell continued.

Caravan park manager Cath Nation said the extreme heat was tough on the outback town, and most people retreated indoors by about 9am each day to escape it.

The wildlife hasn’t been so lucky.

“We’ve got birds dropping out of trees,” she told AAP.

“I was just taking a walk down near the camp kitchen and there were dead birds laying there, carked it, keeled over, too hot.

“The is an upside to it all, the washing dries in about 10 minutes.”

The tiny town of about 630 people has laboured through daily maximum temperatures of more than 36C since September 9 and 43C since December 19.

Meteorologist Jessica Lingard said Marble Bar’s record for days above 43C in a row was 27.

That happened in 2005 from January 6 to February 1.

“We’re nudging close to that record as we move through the weekend and into next week,” she said.

Temperatures in the town are expected to peak at 46C on Saturday and Sunday amid heatwave conditions across most of WA.

Perth peaked at 36.5C on Friday, and temperatures on Saturday and Sunday are expected to climb to 41C and 36C, respectively.

The last time the city recorded a maximum temperature above 40C was almost two years ago on February 5, 2022.

The city has had a fairly mild summer after an unprecedented heatwave sent temperatures soaring above 35C for the best part of a week in November.

Ms Lingard said both heatwaves had been caused by an “atmospheric traffic jam” which forced a trough to hover over the WA coast.

“When the trough sits on the coast we get bombarded with these hot dry northerly winds, which bring down all the hot air from the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions, all the way … into the southwest of the state,” she said.

Hot conditions are expected in much of the state’s southwest, with Busselton tipped to reach highs of 39C on Saturday and 38C on Sunday.

In the north, Broome is also forecast to swelter in the severe heatwave conditions with maximum temperatures of 34C and above forecast until late next week.

Showers and gusty thunderstorms are likely in the Kimberley, through to Sunday.

Extreme and severe heatwave conditions are also predicted for parts of the Goldfields, with Laverton expected to climb to 42C on Saturday, 41C on Sunday and 39C on Monday, when rain is also forecast.

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