Heat Waves Tues 7th Feb 1939. 07 Feb 1939. The highest individual day was 115 on the 23rd. The concluding month of 1896 and the first two months of 1897 were hot. December, 1896, included two days of 114 and one of 110, and for five days on end, 30th January, 1897. to 3rd February, 1897, inclusive, the figures were: 104, 111, 116, 111 and 101. These figures included the hottest individual day (116, 46.6 Celsius on 1st February, 1897) so far as we have been able to ascertain, until last month, and they show an average for the five days of 108.6 daily.

HEAT WAVES. (1939, February 7). The Riverine Grazier (Hay, NSW : 1873 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved June 9, 2022, from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/139812598?searchTerm=1900%20heat%20hot&searchLimits=#

HEATWAVES.
Some Interesting Figures.
Whether or not the Murrumbidgee reached its lowest on record this summer may be debatable, but there is no doubt the Fahrenheit thermometer got to its highest point, and maintained its centuries for the longest period ever known, during the first fourteen days of the year 1939.
For the sake of records, we repeat the figures which have previously been given, but now checked again with the official recordings:
Jan. 1— Sunday, 100.5
2 — Monday, 103.2
3— Tuesday, 103.2
4— Wednes., 104.5
5— Thursday, 104.2
6— Friday, 108.2
7— Saturday 111.5
8— Sunday, 112.8
9— Monday, 107.5
10 Tuesday, 117.2′
11— Wednes. 118
12 Thursday, 115
13— Friday 118.2
14— Saturday, 115.5
That works out at an average of 109.9 daily over the fortnight. This is easily a record for Hay.
During the month, seventeen deaths, practically all of elderly adults took place. It was a happy
feature of the month that although very young children suffered from the heat wave, none succumbed. The extent to which the great heat, which was intensified by the fact that the nights were also oppressive, may be gauged from the fact that, as a rule, January is a month in which the deaths are below the average.
In January, 1935, there were three deaths; January, 1936, one; January, 1937, two; and January, 1938, three.
In all cases the figures include deaths in the district, in the cases in which the interments took place in Hay.
During recent summers there has been an absence of heat waves and the older residents had been saying ‘that the summers are not what they used to be.’ That can no longer be said. It will not be said by those who experienced the summer in Hay from the 1st to 14thJanuary, inclusive. We have heard of some folk, who, with a certain sense of satisfaction, have said ‘We will hear no more from the old-timers about the heat that used to be.’
Perhaps something about what the summers used to be may be interesting. The particulars we append are for the eleven years from 1894 to 1904, inclusive. They are official, and they include the figures of the previous record hot spell.
In 1894, the hottest period, strangely enough, was in November, when there were six days on end in which the thermometer went to over 100, the figures being 101, 105, 106.4, 108.2 109, and 102.
In 1895 there was no spell of hot weather, the highest the thermometer read was 106.7, on one day, 10th December.
The year 1896 was the year of the great heat wave of Bourke, and in January, which was the worst month at Hay, as well as the worst at the Darling River town, there were 13 days, at Hay. upon which the glass soared above the 100 mark, and six upon which it got to 109 or over.
The highest individual day was 115 on the 23rd. The concluding month of 1896 and the first two months of 1897 were hot. December, 1896, included two days of 114 and one of 110, and for five days on end, 30th January, 1897. to 3rd February, 1897, inclusive, the figures were: 104, 111, 116, 111 and 101. These figures included the hottest individual day (116 on 1st February, 1897) so far as we have been able to ascertain, until last month, and they show an average for the five days of 108.6 daily.
The end of 1897 was also very hot, there being eleven days of December upon which the glass got to over 100, including one of 110 and one of 108.
The Big Drought commenced in 1897, and with the exception of one fair year. 1900, it continued until the spring of 1903. Although rain fell in each of the six months of the latter part of 1897, the aggregate of the falls only totalled 410 points. The average for tile next five years, 1898 to 1902, including 1900, on which there were 14.26 inches, was only 10.72 inches. This average was not greatly exceeded l;y the average of the last five years, at Hay, which was 11.37 inches, and taking a period of two years only, 1937 and 1938, are the worst on record. But in the period of the Big Drought, the dry period was much more widespread over the State, and graziers did not then  have the advantage which they now enjoy of sub-artesian bores, which have proved a great standby. Apart from this natural advantage, the service rendered by the motor transports in the haulage of stock and fodder, has been of the very greatest value in saving the stock of the State.
In the culminating year of the Big Drought the loss of stock, especially sheep, in New South Wales, was appalling. We have mentioned the Big Drought, because of the widely held belief that hot summers mean wet winters, but the figures neither prove nor disprove that theory. The summer of 1897-8 was a hot one. We have given the figures of the 1897 part of it. In January, 1898, there was a spell of seven continuous days upon which the glass mounted well above the 100, including days of 1101/2, 1081/2 and 1071/2
and averaging 108.7. The rainfall for 1898 was 10.95. The end of 1898 and the be ginning of 1899 was a cool summer, but this produced the same rainfall as the previous hot summer, 10.09inches.
The summer of 1899-1900 was a hot one, four days in December, 1899, being 100 or over, and one of them 112.6; and in January and February, 1900, there ‘were twelve days (not continuous) in which over 100 was reached, on individual days, 115, 112, 111, and 110. The best year of the drought followed, March, I900, having a rainfall of 491 points. The year ended fairly, but not excessively, hot, and the hottest month of the 1900-01 summer was February, 1901, on which there were four days of over 100, including a 113, 110, and 107. The rainfall of 1901 was only 8.76 inches.
The summer of 1901-02 was an average one, there being ten days in the three months of it when the 100 mark was passed, February being the hottest month with four days, 110, 106, 105, and 103. The rainfall in the culminating year of the Big Drought, 1902, was 8.41 inches. There was no excessively hot weather at the end of 1902. In 1903, the hottest days were in January – and February, when on seven days the 100 mark was passed, including records of 112, 220, 108, and 106. In this year, the drought is considered to have broken in the spring, when 362 points fell in September. The rainfall for the year 1903 fell in the good months— March, 165; and July, 144; as well as September, being above the average. The total for 1903 was 14.79 inches.
There was no very hot weather at the end of 1903, nor in the months January to March, 1904, but at the end of 1904, there was the hot spell which has been regarded as the greatest, until this January. On the last three days of December, 1904, and the first two of -January, 1905, the figures on the Fahrenheit were 110, 114, 115.5, 112.5 and 104, an average of 111.4. This exceeds the average for the whole of the first fourteen days of January just past, but it does not come up to the average of the five days from 10th to 14th January, 1938, inclusive, which was 116.8.
We conclude this article of figures with the hope that the record of January, 1938, will stand for all time.