Australia Too Hot —for Its Own Weather Map

New colors added as officials warn of 'catastrophic' weather

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 8, 2013 10:25 AM CST

(Newser) – Australia is suffering a heat wave so blistering that officials have been forced to add new colors to the country's weather map. Purple and pink are now representing temperatures upward of 122 degrees, which could arrive on Sunday and Monday, reports the Sydney Morning Herald, which has the map. The country's all-time heat record is 123 degrees in 1960, but that could soon be broken.

And with fires already blazing, officials are warning that the harsh weather could have "catastrophic" consequences, CNN reports. Winds blowing at 43mph in parts of New South Wales could help the fires spread. Already, a fire at a resort has forced 120 people to evacuate, the Australian reports. "I cannot say it more plainly: the risk is real and potentially deadly. People need to act now," says a fire official.

Wildfire smoke rises from hills behind the village of Numeralla in New South Wales, Jan. 8, 2013.
Wildfire smoke rises from hills behind the village of Numeralla in New South Wales, Jan. 8, 2013.   (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)
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