Pilbara towns roast through record-breaking heatwave
Marble Bar is sweltering through one of the hottest Decembers on record — but don’t try convince the locals its warmer than usual.
The notoriously hot inland Pilbara town eclipsed its all-time 49.2C heat record yesterday, reaching 49.3C at 3.40pm.
Marble Bar resident Lang Coppin said while the heat may seem unbearable to southerners, it was business as usual for residents.
“Once it gets to 40, a few more degrees doesn’t seem to make much of a difference,” he said.
“The outside, physical kind of stuff we try get done in the morning, then just jump under a shady tree for the afternoon.
“We do have the town pool here, which is a bloody lifesaver.”
While Marble Bar steals most of the heat headlines, scorching temperatures have been felt across the inland Pilbara this week.
Newman reached 46C at 3.12pm yesterday, 0.5C above its December record.
Roebourne Aero near Karratha reached 48.9C just before noon, 0.5C short of an all-time record.
With the pool closed, Roebourne resident Tyson Mowarin photographed the volunteer fireys as they drove out to provide relief from the heat.
“Roebourne fire brigade came to the kids’ rescue and answered the call to come and cool down these cool kids,” he said.
“Don’t know the reason but it is 48C here, school holidays and the pool is shut.”
Both sides of the Exmouth Gulf sweltered too. Learmonth Aero near Exmouth climbed to 47.1C and Onslow 49.1C, 0.1C short of an all-time record for the town.
Exmouth resident Jackie Tapper-Books took her family and guests snorkelling on the Ningaloo Coast to escape the heatwave.
“Over in Cape Range National Park it is generally about 10 degrees cooler than what it is here in town,” she said.
“We were at Turquoise Bay yesterday and it was absolutely beautiful.
“With all the areas like the Ningaloo Centre that are air-conditioned now you can always escape the heat and the water is glorious at this time of year.”
Ms Tapper-Brooks said the town’s resident emu population tended to seek shelter from the heat under verandas and gardens at this time of year.
Weather Bureau duty forecaster Rikus Lombard said temperatures in the Pilbara were expected to stay in the 40s into the new year.
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