Image (click to enlarge): Southeast Australia average maximum temperature departure from normal (°C) for Aug. 1-4, 2011, from Australian BOM
A Special Climate Statement issued today by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) reports that some all-time August heat records were set early this month in the state of Victoria:
A high pressure system centred over the NSW coast drifted into the Tasman Sea on the last weekend of July 2011. The high pressure system directed north westerly winds across Victoria. This northerly wind flow contributed to Victoria experiencing unprecedented warm weather for this time of year.(h/t BraveNewClimate)
Many early season heat records were set for both warmest day and warmest night following mid winter (noting that late June/early July is typically the coldest time of year in southeast Australia). . .
In addition to early season records, a number of whole of August records were also broken. Perhaps the most significant was Melbourne2 which broke its overnight high temperature record for August on the night of the 4th when the minimum temperature was 17.3 °C. The previous warmest overnight temperature for Melbourne in August was 16.2 °C on the 20 August 1885. Similar record warmth was experienced in suburban Melbourne (Laverton and Essendon) and the Yarra Valley with an estimated 4% of Victoria experiencing the warmest August night in at least 100 years. Melbourne’s maximum temperature of 23.2 °C on the August 3rd was the warmest day in Melbourne for the first half of August and an "early season" record for Melbourne ahead of the
23.1°C set on July 30th 1975.
Perhaps the most remarkable observations during the warm spell occurred during the early hours of August 4th when many sites in coastal Victoria experienced exceptionally mild conditions. As an example, Wilson Promontory recorded a temperature of 23.5 °C at 4am, approximately 15 °C above average and easily breaking the old high temperature record of 22 °C set on 28 July 1975.