Another summer's day in winter

Enjoying a swim at the Lismore Memorial Baths are Carmilla Doran with her son Frank Schram, 3, and friend Briony Leonard.
Enjoying a swim at the Lismore Memorial Baths are Carmilla Doran with her son Frank Schram, 3, and friend Briony Leonard. Jacklyn Wagner

AFTER a hot day at child-care, three-year-old Frank Schram knew exactly where he wanted to go yesterday - the Lismore Memorial Baths.

The youngster had the time of his life road-testing his new floaties and a lifebelt with his mum.

The North Coast sweltered through another unseasonably hot day yesterday following Monday's winter record of 37.4 degrees at Evans Head.

Senior forecaster with the Bureau of Metrology, Peter Zwijewski, said over the next three days temperatures would fall back to average, with highs in the mid-20s, and then creep back up to the high-20s on Saturday.

“This time of the year as we approach spring, you can get a lot of adjustments. It can be very warm, and then sometimes very cool as well,” he said.

Dr Graham Jones, head of the Centre for Regional Climate Change Studies at Southern Cross University, said he had no doubts the hot weather was caused by climate change.

“Yes, you would have had these extremely hot days in the past, but with climate change they are becoming more frequent, so instead of getting one day of 37 degrees every 100 years in August in Lismore, we might one day be getting two or three days in August every year of 37 degrees,” he said

Dr Jones said the hot weather reminded him of tropical conditions.

“We believe the tropical climate is moving south very rapidly, and the sub-tropics will become the tropics,” he said.

“And the southern temperate climates will become sub-tropical.”

Dr Jones said rising temperatures stressed plants and animals, with their water availability becoming critical.

“They will be stressed keeping cool and, like us, their metabolism slows down and they become sluggish,” he said.

Dr Jones said in wetlands and shallow lagoons, the hot weather could cause fish to asphyxiate, while farther north coral was bleaching more quickly.

Mercury rising Yesterday's maximum temperatures:
Evans Head .....34 
Lismore ......... .32
Casino .............33 
Byron ............. .26
Ballina .............33
Wind gusts reached 57 km/h at Cape Byron and 41km/h in Ballina

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