On the night of the 11th-12 of Jan 2010 Melbourne sweated through an uncomfortably hot night. Just a couple of media refs will give you the gist but Google could find more no doubt. There is talk of Melbourne’s “..equal hottest night ever.” But I see no sign of balancing statements which should have refered to two facts.
 The record equal temperature was measured in the centre of the Melbourne urban heat island (UHI) which has grown at night by 2 degrees centigrade in the last 60 years.
 The BoM should have stated that there was little sign the hot night was a record breaker outside of Melbourne.
This BoM map shows the minimum temperature anomaly for the 12th Jan.
Click for the full Australian map.
You can make those maps here.
To test how widespread record breaking temperatures were that night I checked 11 sets of station data and found only one with a record high minimum on the 12th. Note my daily data is only updated to April 2007, so the true rankings might be even lower if there have been notably hot nights in the 32 months since then.
Rutherglen from 1965, 23.5 min on 12th, there were 50 FIFTY hotter nights from 1965 to April 2007 , so it ranks 51st
Ballarat from 1957 , 24.6 on 12th, ranks 6th
Castlemaine Prison from 1966, 28.5 min on 12th was hottest night since 1966 The single hot night record for the BoM !!
Ararat Prison from 1969, 25.5 min on 12th, 2 hotter nights, rank 3rd.
Echuca Aero from 1957, 28.5 min on 12th, would rank 5th
SWAN HILL AERODROME from 1996, 26.6 min on 12th, ranks 7th
SWAN HILL Post Office from 1960 to 1996, assuming same min as Aero, ranks 9th
Horsham Aero from 1997, 226.2 min on 12th, ranked 3rd,
Mildura Airport from 1946, 29.8 min on 12th, ranks 8th
Mildura Post Office from 1889 to 1949, assuming same min as AP, ranks 10th
Note that 6th Jan 1906 was 50.1 in the day, 35.6 at night then 50.7 on the 7th. But in those days people just got on with coping, they would not have had a Government that lied to them about the climate.
Hay (Miller St) from 1957, 30.3 min on 12th, ranks 3rd
Text of ABC 7.30 Report TV show for 12 Jan
Dead heat: Melbourne endures record-equalling overnight temperatures
Posted Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04am AEDT
Updated Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:47am AEDT
The Weather Bureau says Melbourne has equalled its hottest-ever night.
The mercury slid back to 30.6 degrees Celsius by 9.00 am (AEST). (ABC TV: Chris Keane)
Melbourne has recorded its equal hottest night ever.
The mercury hovered above 34 degrees for most of the night, but slid back to 30.6 degrees Celsius by 9.00am.
That’s the same as the previous warmest night in February, 1902.
The Weather Bureau’s Terry Ryan says the city is heading for a top of 40 today.
“We’ve had a cool change through, another one is expected around one or two o’clock,” Mr Ryan said.
“The temperature should rise before that change comes through.
“It should get back up into the 30s well and truly, but we’ll have to see how close to 40 we get later on.
“But it’s definitely becoming cooler this afternoon, then by six pm it will be about 24 or 25 degrees Celsius.
“So a much better day to come once this change comes through.”
Train services cut
The extreme heat is taking its toll on Melbourne’s train network, with commuters facing a second day of delays and cancellations.
Maintenance crews have worked through the night to repair faults that disrupted up to 200 services yesterday.
Power failures caused delays on the Alamein and Glen Waverley lines this morning as well as a handful of other cancellations.
Despite the disruptions, Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has praised the city’s new train operator, Metro Trains.
Mr Doyle says Metro has coped well in the extreme heat.
“I pay great tribute to Metro,” he said.
“I’d rather see Metro out and getting the trains running than giving passengers ice-creams.”
“I think that’s a far more practical approach to getting people into and out of our city.”
But Mr Doyle says Melburnians may have to get used to train disruptions during summer.
“Prolonged hot temperatures are extreme weather events and it’s going to put our transport system, our communication system and our office system under stress,” Mr Doyle said.
“The important thing is that we all understand that we need to work with that and we need to get through it.”
Metro Trains spokeswoman Lanie Harris says staff have been trying to limit the disruption to services.
“We do hope there will be a smoother run today,” Ms Harris said.
“We certainly have all our resources on call, and we’ll be working as hard as we can to minimise disruption.”
Meanwhile, electricity crews are trying to restore power to three-and-a-half thousand households in Melbourne’s north and east.
Heat-related problems have cut power supply to homes in Croydon, Watsonia, Eltham, Epping and Ferntree Gully.
SPAusNet spokeswoman Natasha Whalley says it could take most of the day to get the power back on.
“Crews have been out working since six o’clock this morning,” she said.
“Hopefully we’ll gradually start to get people’s power back on as the day progresses, but in some instances it may take most of the day to get through all of those customers and get everybody’s power back on.”
Health authorities are urging Victorians to take basic precautions against the heat.
Temperatures are again forecast to exceed 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of the State today.
Yesterday, ambulance officers treated about 100 people who collapsed or suffered heat exposure.
Victoria chief health officer, Doctor John Carnie, says people should make sure they drink plenty of water and try not to over-exert themselves.
“Spend as much time as much time as possible in cool surroundings,” Dr Carnie said.
“If your home is not cool then try to get to a shopping centre, a cinema, a library or a community centre where it’s cool.
“Certainly avoid strenuous activity and certainly never leave anyone in a closed, parked car on hot days.”