Heat to hang around

By Thomas Moir

While it may not feel like it, summer is officially over.

But it appears there will still be about a week left of the heat.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts temperatures hotter than 35°C are expected for Shepparton, including 38°C for today, through to next Wednesday when some more autumn conditions (an expected 24°C) are set to arrive.

Each day for the past week the city has sweltered through temperatures hotter than 30°C.

Yesterday reached 35°C at about 4pm.

This has all been part of what was being described yesterday as Victoria’s hottest summer on record.

Shepparton also sweltered through heatwave-like conditions during January, with the mercury passing 40°C on eight days and reaching a high of 46°C on January 25.

At the time the News went to print yesterday, Shepparton had received 6.6mm of rainfall for February; the exact same amount as it received in January.

While this marks a significant increase on last year’s February rainfall — just 1mm — it remains well less than the longer term February mean of 36.7 and the median of 26.6.

Most of this month’s rainfall was received on February 7, when 4.2mm fell on the city.

Bureau senior climatologist Blair Trewin said it had been ‘‘an exceptionally hot summer for Victoria’’.

‘‘Averaged over the state it was the hottest on record... with particularly hot conditions in much of northern Victoria,’’ Dr Trewin said.

He said this summer came in about 2.5°C hotter than the long-term average and about 0.2°C warmer than the state’s previous hottest summer.

‘‘A lot of the really extreme heat (was) in late December and January,’’ Dr Trewin said.

‘‘We had some places have their highest temperatures on record.

‘‘In general, we saw persistent and extreme heat through January particularly in northern parts of the state. The start of March is looking pretty hot for many parts of the state.’’