MANDURAH has sweltered through a record run of hot nights in what the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has described as the “warmest December on record”.
The record heatwave began on Christmas Day as the mercury reached 36.7ºC and has continued through to yesterday; a total of nine straight days.
In the nine days the temperature failed to dip below 20 ºC leaving Mandurah residents to attempt to sleep through the steamy nights.
Described by BoM as “very warm nights” the nine straight days of uncomfortable sleep is the third longest streak on record.
The record was set in 2011 from February 14 through to March 5; a run of 20 days.
The highest minimum temperature during those nine nights was set last Sunday where the mercury dipped to just 27.4 ºC.
It was the hottest December night on record for Mandurah.
On average, the minimum December temperature sits at 17.2 ºC but over the past nine nights that figure sits at 23.3 ºC.
And while the nights have been uncomfortable, residents have sought relief during the day as well, with shopping centres, cinemas and other airconditioned facilities bearing the brunt of those looking for a cooler change.
The heatwave lasted seven straight days and now holds the record for the longest run of December hot days.
The peak came on Monday when the temperature reached 39.2 ºC; the third hottest December day on record.
From Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve, the temperature sat above 32 ºC in what has been labelled an “extended hot spell” by BoM.
“It was a record run for December in Mandurah,” BoM information officer John Relf said.
With the end of December and start of January remembered for its sweltering conditions, Mr Relf said December will be remembered by bureau officials for its rainfall.
“It was a very wet December,” he said.
“Not the wettest on record, which was set last year, but the third on record.”
Seventy-four millimetres of rain fell on Mandurah on December 12 which is now the wettest December day on record.
While December’s rainfall did push the yearly total skyward, Mandurah failed to reach the average rainfall for 2012.
The city finished with 796.2mm for the 12 months which is more than 60mm shy of the yearly average.
Describing the contrast between the start of the month and the end as “strange” Mr Relf said conditions are again expected to swing ahead of this weekend with tropic-like storms forecast.
Temperatures are expected to remain in the mid-30 ºC’s while thunderstorms are also expected.