Australia Adds New Colors to Weather Forecasting Chart as Temperatures Skyrocket

As heat records continue to be shattered with every passing day, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology has updated its weather forecasting chart to reflect rising temperatures.

Two never-before-used colors ā€” deep purple and pink ā€” have been added to the bureau's temperature scale to indicate a range above 50 degrees.

"The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because the forecast coming from the bureau's model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 degrees," the bureau's climate monitoring and prediction unit chief David Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald.

For the sake of context, Australia's all-time record high temperature is 50.7 degrees.

The warming and expanding of South Australia's "dome of heat" isn't merely academic: A new national average maximum temperature of 40.33 was set yesterday after the first six days of 2013 charted among the 20 hottest days on record.

And the intense heat is also contributing to the spread of massive wildfires across southeastern Australia.

"You don't get conditions worse than this," the New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner told the Associated Press.

The meteorology bureau's head of climate monitoring for NSW notes that just because one forecast model indicates temperatures above 50 degrees, that doesn't necessarily mean the record will be broken.

However, monitoring is limited in areas predicted to be the warmest, so even if the record is broken, it may be impossible to tell.

[image via Bureau of Meteorology]