Australia Heat Breaks Records:

Australia Heat Breaks Records:

Extreme heat in Australia forced the government’s weather bureau to

upgrade its temperature scale, with new colors on the climate map to

reflect new highs forecast next week.

Central Australia was shown with a purple area on the latest Bureau of Meteorology forecast map issued for next Monday, a new color code suggesting temperatures will

soar above 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).

The bureau’s head of climate monitoring and prediction David Jones said the new scale, which also features a pink code for temperatures from 52 to 54 degrees Celsius, reflected the potential for old heat records to be smashed.

“The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because

the forecast coming from the bureau’s model is showing temperatures in

excess of 50 degrees,” Jones told Fairfax newspapers.

Australia’s all-time record temperature is 50.7 degrees Celsius, set in January 1960 at Oodnadatta in the state of South Australia.

The nation as a whole experienced its hottest day on record on Monday with

the average maximum temperature across the country hitting 40.33

degrees Celsius, surpassing the previous mark of 40.17 degrees set in 1972.

That record was likely to have tumbled on Tuesday, Jones said, with

scorching temperatures across much of southeastern Australia including

in Sydney where the mercury topped 42 degrees.

More than 100 fires blazed in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, where officials described the heat, wind and dry vegetation conditions as

among the worst the state had ever seen for wildfires.