THE Thermal Heat Index reading at Alan Gibson’s Tanilba Bay weather station broke all records on Saturday 11 February. The THI is the combined measurement of temperature and humidity.
In short, it is the heat the body experiences when the two factors combine.
At 1.30pm it peaked at 56.1C.
The highest reading on the thermometer was at 2.33pm when the mercury crested at 40.8C.
Alan explained why this extreme reading was possible: “Recent flooding events in the centre of the outback have seen a huge amount of evaporation during the hot weather which followed. This in turn has worked its way to the east coast as a very hot and moist weather event.”
“On top of this the sea current off Port Stephens is running at around 28 degrees Celsius.
The prevailing North Easterly breeze also brings this hot moisture laden air onshore.”
Meanwhile, Tilligerry locals were well placed to cool off during the heat wave.
Drew MacIntosh took his children Mila and Jordy for a dip in the new Lemon Tree Passage tidal pool where the water temperature was in the low 20s.
The family duo of grandmother and granddaughter Sharon and Ariana sought relief at the Tilligerry Aquatic Centre.
The $80 000 water feature proved to be popular with its cool misted sprays and arching water jets.
As a ‘one off,’ Port Stephens Council extended the weekend hours at its three pools to 8pm after weather forecasts predicted the extreme heat wave conditions.
The RFS activated its automatic recorded phone warning system when Sunday’s bushfire risk rating was classified as ‘catastrophic’.
By Geoff WALKER
By Geoff WALKER