The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe heatwave warning for Katherine, ahead of a December week with six days over 40°C. Severe heatwaves can be dangerous for many people, especially older people, babies, children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with medical conditions and people who are unwell.
Katherine has a historic baseline averaging 150 days over 35°C per year (based on 1999-2022 data). More recently, the area experienced over 210 days of 35°C+ heat in 2022.
According to CSIRO-BoM projections, under a high emissions scenario, Katherine can expect averages of up to 317 days per year over 35°C – more than double the historic baseline – and up to 134 annual days over 40°C, by 2090. Yet, if emissions are drastically limited, Katherine could keep the average number of days over 35°C to just 227 in 2090 – a dramatic improvement compared to a high emissions scenario.