While the U.S. Freezes, Australia's Extreme Heat Wave Is Melting Highways
January has already been a brutally cold month for the U.S. — and it's not over yet. After Winter Storm Grayson battered the Northeast last week, the Midwest is expected to deal with its own blizzard later this week, with snow predicted to sweep across eastern Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, and Minnesota on Wednesday night.
And while it may seem tempting to jump on the next flight heading anywhere warm, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. In fact, sometimes it’s been completely fried.
On Sunday, temperatures outside of Sydney, Australia reached a record-breaking 117 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures were so extreme that asphalt melted on a stretch of highway, many lost power, and 50 new fires started blazing, 21 of which are still raging. Emergency services in southeast Australia are urging people to stay inside.
Even beachgoers attempting to escape the heat have been warned by lifeguards to exercise extra caution. At least three people have been taken to the hospital after being dragged away by rip tides.
The day was the hottest anywhere in the Sydney region since 1939 (the record of 118 degrees Fahrenheit still stands). Penrith, a suburb of city, became the hottest place on earth for the day.
According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, the country’s winter (which lasts from June to August) was the hottest ever recorded. The bureau attributed the “long-term warming trend” to climate change.
Temperatures are expected to cool down in Australia by Wednesday.