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Record March heat in northern WA

Ben Domensino, Thursday March 29, 2018 - 11:22 AEDT

While Australia's eastern tropics have endured heavy rain and relatively cool March temperatures under thick cloud in recent days, the western tropics have been baking.

A break in the monsoon has allowed ample sunshine to heat Western Australia's Pilbara District this week, where temperatures have climbed close to 10 degrees above average in recent days. This is an impressive feat in one of the hottest parts of the country.

On Wednesday, Port Hedland (45.3C) and Roebourne (45.9C) both had their hottest day in two years and the hottest March day in 13 years.

Port Hedland's top of 45.3 degrees yesterday was 8.5 above average for this time of year and its 15th day above 40 degrees so far this month. This is a new record for the town during March, beating 13 days over 40 degrees during the month in 1953.

Port Hedland usually records around five days at or above 40 degrees during March and 30 days this hot during the entire year.

This latest burst of heat has brought Port Hedland's average maximum temperature during March, as of 9am today, up to 39.8 degrees. This is an astonishing three degrees above the long term average and more than a degree hotter than the current March record. Port Hedland's previous highest average maximum temperature during March was 38.7 degrees in 2014.

With temperatures forecast to reach 37 to 43 degrees during the final three days of the month, Port Hedland is likely to set a new March heat record in 2018.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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