Purple alert! Australian heatwave forces climate experts to use new colour to represent extreme temperatures

Australia’s giant and record heatwave, which is sparking hundreds of bush fires across the land, has forced the country’s meteorologists to redraw their national temperature scales — upwards.

In an unprecedented move, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has extended the temperature range on its charts from the previous cap of 50 degrees Centigrade — 122 degrees Fahrenheit — to 54 degrees C, which is more than 129 degrees in Fahrenheit terms.

At the same time, it has added two entirely new colours — deep purple and pink — to show the new extreme range on its interactive weather maps. A patch of purple, indicating 50+, is now visible on one of the temperature charts for next week.

This is thought to be the first time that any country in the world has actually redrawn its charts to take account of temperatures which are thought likely to go off the scale which had been previously applied, and climate scientists indicated it was a warning for the future — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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