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Searing heat for Australian Open
Blog by Jo Farrow
15th January 2014 09:32

Searing heat for Australian Open

Whilst North America has been battling with extreme cold and heavy snowfalls in its winter, Australia has been having some roasting hot summer conditions. Perth saw the heat at the weekend, which is now hitting southern Australia with records being broken in Tasmania. There are fire warnings in place and tennis players and a ball boy falling to the ground at the Australian Open.

Temperatures at this time of year would average 26C in Melbourne, already this week they have passed 42C (108F). Imagine playing tennis in that! In 2009, the temperature hit 45.5C in Melbourne Park, the highest ever during play. That was only a shade off the all-time record of 45.6C from 1939 for Melbourne itself. The court will have an effect on the temperature, holding the air within it.
The forecast for this week is We. 41C Th. 41C Fr. 42C Sa. 23C.

There is a threat of thunderstorms from mid week so humidity must be rising. From the weekend onwards. temperatures return to normal.

There is an extreme Heat policy for the Open, ‘At the Referee's discretion, when the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature only (WBGT) is equal to or above the pre-determined threshold, the Referee may suspend the commencement of any further matches on outside court’.
Tournament referee Wayne McKewen has already said “If the humidity levels remained relatively low, play could theoretically continue in temperatures nudging the mid-40s”.
Play can then move to the stadiums of Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena, as they have roofs which could be closed.
I wonder if Wimbledon has an Extreme Heat Policy, next to the “It’s raining again Policy”.

Weds 15th
From BoM, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology-  new records across South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria on Tues:

• Adelaide reached 45.1°C—the 5th time since records began.
• Scotts Peak reached 38.6°C, equalling the highest temperature observed anywhere in western Tasmania.
• Laverton, in Melbourne's south west, jumped to 38.7°C just before midnight and 37.4°C at midnight—Victoria's 2nd highest midnight temperature on record.

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