Summer is now twice as long as winter, experts reveal
IF YOU felt like summer was hotter and longer than normal, then you're definitely on the right track.
A Canberra-based think tank has found the North Coast is at the top of the list of regional areas that now have extended summers.
Between 2014 and 2018, Australians experienced summers twice as long as winters, according to the new report compiled by Tom Swann and Mark Ogge.
Regional areas were hit particularly hard, with the Mid North Coast town of Port Macquarie experiencing seven more weeks (138 days) of traditional summer temperatures compared to the 1950s and 1960s.
Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program director, Richie Merzian, said winters have more than halved in seven areas.
"Temperatures which were considered a regular three-month summer in the 1950s, now span from early to mid-November all the way to mid-March," he said.
The report showed that 10 weather stations in regional areas recorded summers that had reached 130 days or longer.
"Our findings are not a projection of what we may see in the future," Mr Merzian said.
"It's happening right now. "
The Out of Season report shows that, over the last two decades, summer was on average one month longer than it was half a century before.
Data was drawn from 70 weather stations across southern Queensland and Western Australia, NSW, Victoria, ACT, South Australia and Tasmania.
In the two decades between 1999-2018, summer temperatures were experienced for a full 31 days longer than the benchmark, while winter temperatures were experienced for 23 days (over three weeks) less than the benchmark.
Summers have grown longer even in recent years ‒ the last five years have seen summers twice as long as winters, Mr Merzian said.
He said this will have profound impacts on how we manage bushfires moving into the future.
"As the length of the bushfire summer season extends, the window to enforce bushfire management strategies, typically in winter, shrinks," he said.