Temperatures in the Australian city of Sydney reached 47.3 degrees Celsius (117.1 degrees Fahrenheit) on Sunday, meteorologists say, making it the hottest place on Earth and the city’s warmest day in nearly 80 years.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said it recorded the extreme heat in the Sydney suburb of Penrith, which is about 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of the central business district, where temperatures reached as high as 43.4 degrees Celsius (110.1 degrees Fahrenheit).
The temperature in Penrith, which was recorded at 3:25 p.m. local time on Sunday, makes it the hottest day in the Sydney Metropolitan area since 1939, when the heat reached 47.8 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) at a weather station in the town of Richmond.
Events on the opening day of the Sydney International tennis tournament were suspended at 10 a.m. due to the extreme heat. Temperatures at the venue, which is located at the Sydney Olympic Park, reached as high as 44.5°C (112.1°F) just after 1 p.m.
French tennis star Kristina Mladenovic apologized to her fans after the heat forced her to stop halfway through her match against Ellen Perez. “I think it’s [the] 1st time in my career I retired a match, it says it all,” she said on Twitter, estimating that it felt as hot as 50°C (122°F) on the court.
The ongoing heatwave in Australia, where it is now summer, has been accompanied by dozens of bushfires which have destroyed a number of buildings. The heat even caused a stretch of road near Melbourne to melt, making it soft and sticky.
While Australia is no stranger to warm weather, Sunday’s heat was unusually extreme. The highest temperature ever recorded in Australia was measured at Oodnadatta Airport in South Australia in January 1960, when the temperature reached 50.7°C (123.2°F).
The highest temperature ever recorded in the world was measured in California’s Death Valley in July 1913, when the temperature is said to have reached 56.7°C (134°F). The previous world record – 58°C (136.4°F) in Libya in 1922 – was declared invalid in 2012 by the World Meteorological Organization.
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