Astonishing 50 degrees measured in the Pilbara region

Last week, 50 degrees were recorded at Rio Tinto’s Mesa A mine site in the Pilbara region, west of Pannawonica, as parts of Western Australia face extreme summer heat.

Image credit: freedigitalphotos By: Stuart Miles
Image credit: freedigitalphotos By: Stuart Miles

According to the ABC news article, Onslow, a town in the well-known Pilbara mining region has been officially named “the hottest place in Western Australia” following the sizzling 48 degrees recorded last week.

“It’s baking, we feel that board is probably not calibrated that well though. But at the end of the day look it’s the Pilbara, it’s summer, 45 degrees is the norm. It might be plus a couple, it might be minus a couple, it’s hard to pick the difference,” said mine operations manager Wayne Zarb.

“We really push the point with our workforce that if it’s too much for you, you make sure you let us know. Take a break, drink your water, we’ve got plenty of electrolytes on stock for the guys. It’s important they look after their health.”

All workers are encouraged and constantly reminded to take good care of themselves as such high temperatures are expected to be an everyday occurrence at the Pilbara region.

“It’s highly likely that we would see temperatures getting into that area. It is very, very hot air up there. But the Bureau recordings are done at sites that we scope out and we make sure that they adhere to world meteorological standards, not just Australian standards,” said Neil Bennett from the Weather Bureau.

“Nevertheless, that is an indication of just how hot it is… and really the difference between 48.7 and 49 and 49.3 and 49.5 is neither here nor there, it’s just damn hot isn’t it! Certainly the guys in the workshops and out in the pits, I think they look forward to getting the boots off, a cold beer and a shower to clean up.”

According to Mr Bennett, the reading at Mesa A is not officially recognised but he wouldn’t be surprised if the temperature continues to rise.

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