March 2019 sees 121C temperature difference and only separated by the Southern Ocean

Written by on April 5, 2019 in Australasia, Rest of World with 0 Comments

You often expect the Northern Hemisphere to deliver the biggest temperature extremes between hot and cold given most of earth’s land masses are north of the equator. The general rule of thumb is that the further you are away from a sea or ocean, the greater the swing in temperature between summer and winter with least difference along coasts or the closer to the pole or equator you are.

However, while the Southern Hemisphere is pulling out of summer. Heat refuses to let go of Australia while mid winter conditions are arriving early across much of Antarctica. Of course it’s ALWAYS cold but it’s entering winter mode rapidly and daily temperatures have already dipped below -50, -60, even -70C!

In the 31 days of March, Australia, the relatively short distance across the Southern Ocean has separated an astonishing temperature contrast. Temperatures which challenge earth’s hottest and coldest March temperatures.

Global temperature anomaly for March 2019

Credit: Michael Ventrice

48.1C sets Australia and World Heat Record for March

Roebourne on Australia’s north-west coast soared to 48.1C on March 10, 2019 setting a new state, country and world record for heat during the month of March.

Roebourne Anglican Church, Roebourne Visitor Centre

This temperature exceeds the previous world heat record for March of 48.0C recorded in Ballesmi, Mexico back in 1975.

Vostok, Antarctica shivers at -72.8C

While record heat is seemingly endless over parts of Australia, just on the other side of the Southern Ocean, Antarctica observed a very cold March, considerably colder than normal.

Towards the end of March, the cold deepened and Vostok station recorded a low of -72.8C. Coldest March low for Antarctica and world in 6 years. A reading which is not a world cold record for the month but fairly close (-74.9C).

That’s a range of 121C within a 31 day period and really only separated by the Southern Ocean.

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