The risk of fire is also exceedingly high.

See that deep purple in the middle of this acne-red weather report from Down Under? That right there represents 129.2° F or 54 °C — it's a brand-new shade that the Australian bureau of meteorology was forced to add to its heat index because their country is, you know, kind of on fire. "The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because the forecast coming from the bureau's model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 degrees," David Jones, head of the bureau's climate monitoring and prediction unit, told The Sydney Morning Herald, which notes that the previous record high was 50.7°C  (123°F), recorded in 1960 at Oodnadatta Airport in the southern part of Australia — right around where the new shades of hot are showing up today.

To give you an idea of just how uncomfortable this Australian heatwave really is, consider that it's just past midnight there right now ... and it's 95°F in Sydney. Doubly scary are the giant fire risks that come with the heat — risks so severe Australian officials are taking no chances and labeling the warning "catastrophic." "A 'catastrophic' warning carries the risk of significant loss of life and the destruction of many homes, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service," reports CNN.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  2. Equity

    The Last Daycares Standing

    In places where most child cares and schools have closed, in-home family daycares that remain open aren’t seeing the demand  — or the support — they expected.

  3. Coronavirus

    How to Make People Stay Home

    To help flatten the curve in the Covid-19 outbreak, officials at all levels of government are asking people to stay home. Here's what’s worked, and what hasn't.

  4. photo: Former HUD secretary Julián Castro
    Equity

    How to Head Off a Coronavirus Housing Crisis

    Former HUD secretary and presidential candidate Julián Castro has ideas for state and federal leaders on protecting vulnerable renters from a housing disaster.

  5. Coronavirus

    Black Businesses Left Behind in Covid-19 Relief

    The latest U.S. coronavirus aid package promises a partial and uneven economic recovery that leaves behind the African American community.

×