Adelaide breaks its all-time heat record, hitting 46.6C, in extreme Australia heatwave

people in adelaide head to the beach to escape thursday’s record-breaking australia heatwave
People in Adelaide head to the beach to escape Thursday’s record-breaking Australia heatwave. Photograph: Kelly Barnes/AAP

Seventeen records broken in South Australia amid animal culls and mass fish deaths in other parts of the country

— Temperature records have tumbled across South Australia, with the city of Adelaide experiencing its hottest day on record, as the second heatwave in as many weeks hit southern parts of Australia.

Adelaide hit 46.6°C on Thursday afternoon, the hottest temperature recording in any Australian state capital city since records began 80 years ago.

The Red Lion, a pub in the city’s Elizabeth North suburb, promised to hand out free beers if the mercury rose above 45°C. By 1pm, there was a line out the door and round the block.

 

In Port Augusta, 300km north-west, an all-time record was also set, as the city hit 49.5°C.

Last week, temperatures in Adelaide, home to 1.3 million people, hit 45°C, sending homelessness shelters into a “code red”, and sparking fears of another mass fish death in the Menindee Lakes in the neighbouring state of New South Wales.

In central and western Australia, local authorities were forced to carry out an emergency animal cull, shooting 2,500 camels – and potentially a further hundred feral horses – who were dying of thirst.

 

On Thursday, 17 records were broken across South Australia, either of all-time temperatures or January records.

Sternhouse Bay (45.6°C), Port Lincoln (47°C), Minnipa (47.3°C), and Snowtown (47.3°C) were among the hottest, with Snowtown beating its previous record by 1.3°C.

 

Thursday’s heat is set to spread across the states of Victoria and New South Wales, just days after an earlier record-breaking heatwave passed across the country.

Last week, a dozen heat records fell, with nine alone in NSW. The small NSW outpost of Noona, around 800km west of Sydney, recorded the country’s highest ever overnight minimum temperature of 35.9°C.

The back-to-back heatwaves are part of a summer that the Bureau of Meteorology predicted as being hotter and drier than average, partially as a result of climate change.

On Friday, Victoria will become the “hottest place in Australia”, according to Jonathan How from the bureau.

The cities of Mildura, Swan Hill and Echuca are set for 46°C, which could break records.

In Melbourne, as Novak Djokovic and Lucas Pouille settle in for the semi-finals of the Australian Open, the maximum temperature will be 43°C, with 44°C in some suburbs.


by Naaman Zhou | The Guardian