Three consecutive days of daily maximum temperatures in the top 10 percent of warmest temperatures for that date constitutes a heatwave. The dangers posed by extreme heat have been dramatically illustrated in recent years. During the heatwave in Victoria in January–February 2009 there were an estimated 374 excess deaths due to heat and 173 fatalities caused by subsequent bushfires. The Government’s 2013 State of Australian Cities report predicts that heatwave-related deaths in Australian cities will more than double in the next 40 years. Such events will place significant strain on an already stressed healthcare system with ambulance callouts and emergency department visits rising sharply on very hot days.
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Quantifying excess deaths related to heatwaves under climate change scenarios: A multicountry time series modelling study
Is it hot right now?
A heatwave forecast service for Australia