Manning Valley swelters on hottest February day on record

Beating the heat: brothers Jake and Liam Andrews, and Braithe Tubnor cooling off in the Manning River at Wingham Brush. Photo: Scott Calvin

Beating the heat: brothers Jake and Liam Andrews, and Braithe Tubnor cooling off in the Manning River at Wingham Brush. Photo: Scott Calvin

Pools, shopping centres, the movies and the river were popular this past weekend as the district sweltered in record-breaking temperatures.

The Bureau of Meteorology report that Taree recorded temperatures of 45.7 degrees on Sunday, February 12 – the highest temperature ever recorded at that weather station.

Forster-Tuncurry faired better, recording 34.5 degrees on Saturday and 31.5 degrees on Sunday.

Gloucester has no nearby official weather station, but locals said the temperature reached 50 degrees in the shade at Gloucester Public School. 

The Nabiac Community Swimming Pool, with the agreement of MidCoast Council, pushed the closing times from 7pm to 8pm each night from Friday to Sunday.

The Wingham Memorial Swimming Pool and Taree Aquatic Centre were both “very, very extremely busy” according to duty manager Aaron Hayward.

Mr Hayward said there were approximately 300 people at the Taree indoor pool on Sunday afternoon. The outdoor pool at Taree did not get much use.

“The wind was just way too hot and it was very, very smokey,” Mr Hayward said.

He said that this season generally has been busier than previous years.

Community members were unable to access the pool at Wingham on Saturday as it was closed for a swimming carnival, so the river became a popular place to cool off.

Statistics from Weatherzone show that the region is experiencing a much hotter summer than usual.

Sunday pushed Taree 16 degrees over the mean maximum temperature of 28.9 degrees for February.

The average number of 40 degree and over days in Februrary is 0.1 and to date February 2017 has recorded two days over 40 degrees.

Four days of 35 degrees and over this month thus far have been recorded, greatly exceeding the average of 1.8 days.

Temperatures of 27/28 degrees are forecast for the next three days, with the mercury once again rising to 35 degrees by Saturday, February 18.

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