Australia has hottest spring on record as temperatures soar – Australian Open changes 2015 heat policy to avert ‘inhumane’ conditions for playersPosted by Jim at Wednesday, December 03, 2014
By Wendy Frew
1 December 2014
(BBC News) – November was the hottest month and ended the hottest spring on record for Australia, meteorologists say.
The soaring temperatures are part of a trend putting the world on track for the warmest year on record.
Maximum temperatures were warmer than average across nearly the entire continent, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
Nine of the warmest springs on record occurred since 2002, said BoM Manager of Climate Monitoring Karl Braganza.
"Australia has been warming up, by about 0.9C since 1910," Dr Braganza told the BBC.
Australian temperature records go back to 1910.
"There were two really significant heat waves on the east [of Australia] and there were a couple of [heatwave] duration records," he said.
A 13-day stretch of above-40C weather ended on 25 November in Longreach in north-west Queensland. It was some of the hottest weather in living memory for the Queensland town.
"In the past couple of years, we have seen heatwaves starting earlier in the season," said Dr Braganza.
Spring 2014 was the warmest on record for Australia for the second year running. Both mean temperatures and maximum temperatures were highest on record for the season.
Spring rainfall for Australia as a whole was 34% below the long-term mean. [more]
(BBC News) – Organisers of the Australian Open have changed their extreme heat policy ahead of the 2015 tennis tournament.
Director Craig Tiley said a roof had been added to a third court, and the heat policy had been updated to "ensure conditions are fair for all players".
Temperatures soared above 40C during the 2014 tournament, causing players to faint or suffer from heatstroke.
Organisers were criticised for not suspending matches, with some players describing conditions as "dangerous".
The extreme heat policy is implemented at the referee's discretion. Once the policy is introduced, play can be suspended at the end of the current set in each match.
In a statement on the Australian Open website, Mr Tiley said: "The decision on implementing the heat policy will take into account the forecast once the ambient temperature exceeds 40C, and the Wet Bulb Global Temperature (WBGT) reading exceeds 32.5.
"When conditions exceed these levels the referee is taking into account the forecast and state of play when making his discretionary call." [more]