Fig. 1: GFS high temperature forecast for Feb. 20th indicates widespread 38-46C!
Discussion: Anomalous heat is generating across Australia thanks to a titanic semi-permanent high-pressure area centered on Western Australia through the next 1-2 weeks. The hottest day of many ahead appears to be February 20th when widespread 100-115F (38-46C) is observed (Fig. 1). The hottest temperatures across interior Western Australia and the south-central portion of Southern Australia. The intense heat represents a dramatic pattern change for Australia’s summer season which has averaged cooler than normal for most of the continent (Fig. 2). Since December 1st a cool upper trough pattern has dominated Australia (Fig. 3). The 7-day forecast indicates the searing heat stretches across the southern half of Australia (Fig. 4). The heat core is mostly across Western Australia in the 8-14-day period. The 15-day rainfall anomaly outlook indicates much of Australia is dry except the northeast coast (Fig. 5).
Fig. 2-3: The meteorological summer (so far) temperature anomalies and 500 MB anomaly observations.
Fig. 4-5: The 12Z GFS 7-day temperature anomaly forecast across Australia and the 15-day rainfall anomaly projection.