Hawkesbury Heat. 18 Jan 1896. Yesterday (Sunday) the shade temperature at this Observatory reached 116.8 degrees, or the same as that attained on the 6th instant. To-day, however, the maximum recorded was 118.8 degs, the highest experienced here since 1862. 118 deg F = 48.2 Celsius

Hawkesbury Heat. (1896, January 18). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 – 1965), p. 6. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/72547614?#

DURING the past couple of weeks Hawkesburyites have experienced enough red-hot weather to serve them for life and ever afterwards.
Records like 110 degrees in the shade were of frequent occurrence, and each day appeared to promise a warmer time than its predecessor.
For many years no such continuous hot weather can be remembered by that worthy and oft quoted individual, “the oldest inhabitant.” If it ever did occur, it was so far back in the dim and distant past that that long memoried and not too often truthful individual has completely forgotten it.
But, truth to tell, the weather since Monday week last has been no joke, and townspeople who have always expressed their extreme love for the Summer (but only whilst Winter appeared to be in full swing) were completely prostrated, and sought no harder task during the day than that of swallowing sundry gallons of water and other drinkables.
The streets were deserted during the middle of the day, except by a few farmers, who, anxious to get their produce to market, braved the dust and heat and bore their burden manfully.
The thermometers under Messrs Fraser’s and Beard and Co’s verandahs were eagerly scanned by curious folk, and altogether considerable interest was taken in the records.
Many cases of sunstroke and death from the excessive heat have been reported from other
districts, but locally, up to the present time, no cases have yet been reported.
Bush fires burned in all directions and enveloped the surrounding country in smoke.
Along the Kurrajong, at Grose Vale, behind Wilberforce, in the vicinity of Currency Creek, and Blacktown Road, the fires did much damage ; at the last-mentioned place a large quantity of the fencing along Berkshire Park was destroyed.
Out at Clydesdale and on the Jericho Estate, fires have been burning for some time, and on Monday last they seemed to have been aroused anew, for heavy dark volumes of smoke arose about midday. The fire made in the direction of Fairy Farm, where much damage was done to grass and fences, despite the efforts of about twenty men, who did their utmost to check its career.
A good fall of rain is now urgently needed, not only for the purpose of extinguishing these conflagrations, but so that the crops may receive that nourishment necessary to save them
from the effects of such a severe spell of hot and dry weather.
A large proportion of the maize crop has reached that condition when it will be able to ripen without a further rainfall, but the later crops need it very much. The hay yields of the farmers are good and the prices being obtained ditto, and if the average Hawkesburyite were asked his opinion he would cordially agree that it would be a good thing as far as he was personally
concerned if the very dry weather continued, for in the absence of rain and feed, stock-owners out back and elsewhere must buy his fodder.
Thus, one district’s misfortune is another’s opportunity. During the week ending Monday last, it is stated that on no one day did the thermometer register less than 100 degrees, an experience unexampled in the Hawkesbury District.
The following record from the Peninsula Observatory (and for which we have to thank Mr John Tebbutt, F.R.A.S.) is particularly interesting:—
Yesterday (Sunday) the shade temperature at this Observatory reached 116.8 degrees, or the
same as that attained on the 6th instant. To-day, however, the maximum recorded was 118.8 degs, the highest experienced here since 1862.
The next highest was recorded in 1878 when the thermometer registered 117.1 degrees. During
the 33 years of my experience I have never till to- day recorded as high as 100 degrees at 9 o’clock a.m. At that hour this morning the reading was 102.8 degrees, and at 6 o’clock this evening the temperature had not sunk below 105 degrees.
From what I have stated it will be seen that the heat of to-day is quite phenomenal. JOHN TEBBUTT. The Observatory, Windsor, January 13, 1896.