This week record high temperatures in Australia sparked catastrophic brush fires that engulfed five of the country’s six states – and the climate is so hot that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has added new colors to their heat index weather map. A bright purple hue now represents the intense temperatures that are breaking records at 129.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
The scorching summer down under has pushed past the former high of 123 degrees Fahrenheit, which was reached in 1960. Up until recently, oranges and reds were used to represent the hottest temperatures across Australia. But now, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, pink and purple will be used to show regions of heat recorded above 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
The blistering weather is not just causing discomfort, but has also been a catalyst for wildfires across the nation- which anticipation that they may only get worse as inland air heats up. Aside from the deep purple hot spots, the average temperature across the country has also increased, to around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The extreme heat lasts for the duration of the day, giving little relief once the sun sets. Thus far, the first week or so of 2013 has proven to be Australia’s hottest summer to date.