Bureau can?t offer words of comfort
By RENEE REDMOND
NORTHERN Rivers residents can expect another long hot summer this year.
Temperatures across the nation are predicted to break previous records.
Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Bob Moore yesterday said there was a trend towards warmer summers in Australia.
Yesterday temperatures soared across the region topping 36 degrees Celsius in Lismore and Casino, 33 in Ballina, and 28 at Cape Byron.
The warm weather comes after last Thursday's devastating storms which hit Clarence Valley residents the hardest.
The region has since been declared a natural disaster zone.
The bureau said the succession of thunderstorms and wind gusts of up to 41 knots were normal for this time of year.
Temperatures today are again expected to hit 36 degrees in some areas on the Northern Rivers.
"Every year our summers are getting hotter. Most places around Australia will see temperatures above average throughout this summer," Mr Moore said.
Average temperatures for Lismore in early December were usually between 27-28 degrees, but the bureau had forecast temperatures of up to 36 degrees this week, he said.
The bureau's seasonal temperature outlook summer between December and February suggested a good chance of summer in the Northern Rivers being hotter than last year.
The report said there was a 40-45 per cent chance of the temperatures going above average.