Kangaroo Island breaks record hot temperatures

The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that Kangaroo Island did indeed break its all-time high temperature records last Thursday, January 24.

Kingscote recorded 45.4 degrees, beating the previous record of 43.8 over the past 59 years of recording. The previous record was 43.8 recorded on Feb. 2, 2014 and Jan. 29, 2009.

The Parndana CFS automatic weather station recorded 45.3 on Thursday, the highest on record, however the site has only been operating since 2011. The previous record was 42.6 recorded on Jan. 14, 2014 and Feb. 2, 2014. 

The bureau’s climate team advises that the Kingscote temperature recorded on January 24 is the warmest temperature on record for any of the BoM sites on Kangaroo Island.

There were anecdotal reports of even higher unofficial temperatures on car dashboard, verandas and even beaches.

Natural Resources KI took a hand-held Thermo Sensor temperature gauge down to the beach at Seal Bay where it read 50 degrees.

The KI rumour that the local Kingscote generator was switched on Thursday to help power the mainland is not true. 

The rumour started out when there was a brown out on Wednesday night, leading residents to speculate the generator was being turned on. 

A SA Power Networks spokesman said the generator was not switched on and it was doubtful that it would ever be used to boost mainland power, as it only generated 7 megawatts of power. 

The Bureau of Meteorology meanwhile has released its January climate summaries, showing the month was Australia's warmest on record.

The mean temperature for January averaged across country exceeded 30 degrees, the first time this has occurred in any month.

Bureau senior climatologist Dr Andrew Watkins said the heat through January was unprecedented.

"We saw heatwave conditions affect large parts of the country through most of the month, with records broken for both duration and also individual daily extremes," Dr Watkins said.

"The main contributor to this heat was a persistent high pressure system in the Tasman sea, which was blocking any cold fronts and cooler air from impacting the south of the country.

"At the same time, we had a delayed onset to the monsoon in the north of the country which meant we weren't seeing cooler, moist air being injected from the north.

"The warming trend which has seen Australian temperatures increase by more than 1 degree in the last 100 years also contributed to the unusually warm conditions."

Key points from the summaries include:

Australia has experienced its warmest month on record in terms of mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures. Rainfall was below average for most areas but the monsoon trough brought some significant totals to northern Queensland late in the month.

South Australia experienced one of its warmest Januarys on record, and the driest January since 2013. Adelaide had one of the city's warmest Januarys on record with maximum temperatures the warmest for at least 10 years. For the first time since 1957, the Bureau's Adelaide city site recorded zero rainfall for the month.