‘UK Set To Be Hotter Than Australia This Weekend’
The sub-headline above has not been written by me, I’ve copied it from a UK tabloid who has been running with this story leading up to this weekend.
Being a born and bred Brit, I like to keep up with the news in the UK from time to time, and The Mirror is one of the few remaining UK online newspapers that don’t charge a subscription. So I can catch up with my football news, the latest on the mess that is known as Brexit and also, on a regular basis, read a few headlines that make me laugh out loud.
Like this one…
At the time of reading, just to paint the picture for you, I was sitting in my home office, ceiling fan on full spin, window wide open, with the room temperature sitting at around 32°C. Here in Brisbane, we have now had 42 consecutive days where the maximum temperature has been 30°C or above.
Hopefully that will help you understand why I almost destroyed my keyboard as I burst into instant involuntary hysterics, whilst trying to contain a mouthful of coffee.
In fairness to The Mirror, they weren’t the only ones, the Sun also ran a similar story. Well, they are Britain’s leading tabloids.
As regular readers will know from my series How Do Brisbane’s Winters Compare with London’s Summers, it is sometimes difficult for the UK to be hotter than Australia in the middle of their summer; at the moment though, it’s winter in the UK and summer here in Australia.
So, I decided to do a fact check on the claim “Temperatures in Britain to top Australia with highs of 18°C“.
Fact check: Temperatures in Britain to top Australia’s
Here is the weather map, as it appears in The Mirror, of the UK showing the potential temperatures around the country this coming weekend…
I can’t even see any mention of 16°C, let alone 17°C or even 18°C. But let’s move past that for now, and just assume that somewhere in the UK, at some point during the weekend, no matter where that somewhere or that point is, may just touch on 18°C, even if just for a tiny indiscernible amount of time.
So, if that does happen, will it be hotter than Australia? Let’s look at the weather in all of Australia, as it was yesterday, when I read the article…
Nope, not hotter than Australia, not anywhere. But forget mainland Australia, that’s not what the article means when it says “Temperatures in Britain to top Australia“, what they are actually hoping to top are temperatures somewhere in Tasmania. Here is a quote from the article…
“Parts of Tasmania in Australia will be slightly cooler than the UK over the weekend, with highs of 17°C predicted.”
Well, it was 19°C in Hobart yesterday, is it likely to get cooler there by the weekend? Let’s have a look…
Ooh! So unlucky, it’s still 19°C on Saturday, and Sunday, well, it’s possibly going to shoot up to 25°C. But this prediction does not pin its hope on Hobart, it’s “Parts of Tasmania” that matter, so anywhere in Tasmania will do.
Here is the weather for all of Tasmania…
And there you have it. Smithton and/or Queenstown could well possibly be colder than potentially somewhere in the UK that might just possibly reach 18°C at some point assuming one or other of those Tasmanian towns do not exceed the 17°C they were yesterday.
So, let’s check out the seven day weather forecast for Smithton…
Ooh! So unlucky, looks like it’s going to be 20°C and sunny on Saturday, windy on the Sunday, but still 20°C. Never mind, we still have Queenstown…
Nooo! So unlucky. Queenstown is going to be even hotter on the Saturday at around 22°C, and on Sunday it could even be 25°C.
So, a great article from The Mirror; very funny, but not accurate.
The truth about the weather in Australia this summer
This is why The Mirror’s article is so ridiculous. This summer has been quite tough for many here, here is a quick look at what the weather’s been like in some of our states:
New South Wales
Sydney suffers in heatwave as NSW temperatures soar past 46 degrees Celsius.
‘Paramedics were on standby at some train stations around the network, with a Transport Management Centre spokesperson confirming paramedics had expanded operations to cope with the demand.’
‘Victorian weather records under threat as towns brace for hot days in mid-40s.
Extreme fire danger is forecast for the Wimmera district, while the danger is rated as severe in the Mallee, Northern Country, North Central and South West districts.’
‘Adelaide breaks its all-time heat record, hitting 46.6C, in extreme Australia heatwave. Seventeen records broken in South Australia amid animal culls and mass fish deaths in other parts of the country.’
‘Three out-of-control bushfires have consumed more than 100,000 hectares of wilderness. Natural Parks and precious World Heritage sites have been razed. Towns and hamlets are at risk of incineration. So far, only a handful of houses are confirmed lost, but this number is likely to rise sharply in coming days, with high temperatures and gusty winds forecast.’
Townsville, a large town in North Queensland, received over 1300 mm of rain between January 27 and February 7 of this year, that’s more than double the annual rainfall in London. It’s not raining today there, but it is close to 40°C, making for shocking conditions under which the residents are attempting to clean up the mess.
It’s been devastating for the farmers a little further west in North Queensland too. After surviving 10 years of drought, the rain finally came, but much too much. Floods have taken the lives of something like 500,000 cattle and 30,000 sheep. The cost is estimated to be around $1 billion.
‘For graziers who sweated to keep their herds alive, praying for rain, the scale of the flood is hard to take.‘
Still in Queensland, Brisbane, where I live, appears to have got off quite light. Temperatures have been between 30°C and 34°C, which is quite manageable, and we’ve had no flooding. But, I am told, things could get worse this weekend.
Cyclone Oma is on her way…