Australia Added New Colors to the Weather Map

Australia’s “dome of heat” has become so intense that the temperatures are rising off the charts – literally.

The air mass over the inland is still heating up – it hasn’t peaked

The Bureau of Meteorology’s interactive weather forecasting chart has added new colours – deep purple and pink – to extend its previous temperature range that had been capped at 50 degrees.

The range now extends to 54 degrees – well above the all-time record temperature of 50.7 degrees reached on January 2, 1960 at Oodnadatta Airport in South Australia – and, perhaps worringly, the forecast outlook is starting to deploy the new colours. Advertisement “The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because the forecast coming from the bureau’s model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 degrees,” David Jones, head of the bureau’s climate monitoring and prediction unit, said. While recent days have seen Australian temperature maps displaying maximums ranging from 40 degrees to 48 degrees – depicted in the colour scheme as burnt orange to black – both Sunday and Monday are now showing regions likely to hit 50 degrees or more, coloured purple. Clicking on the prediction for 5pm AEDT next Monday, a Tasmania-sized deep purple opens up over South Australia – implying 50 degrees or above. Aaron Coutts-Smith, the bureau’s NSW head of climate monitoring, though, cautioned that the 50-degree reading is the result of just one of the bureau’s models. “The indications are, from the South Australian office, that we are not looking at getting any where near that (50 degree level).” Still, large parts of central Australia have limited monitoring, so the 50.7 degree record may be broken. “The air mass over the inland is still heating up – it hasn’t peaked,” Dr Jones said. Australia’s first six days of 2013 were all among the hottest 20 days on record in terms of average maximums, with January 7 and today likely to add to the list of peaks. That would make it four of the top 10 in a little over a week. National record smashed And the country has set a new national average maximum of 40.33 degrees on Monday, beating the previous record – set on December 21, 1972 – by a ”sizeable margin” of 0.16 degrees, Dr Jones said, adding that the figures are preliminary. “Today is actually shaping up to be hotter - and it could be a record by a similar margin,” he said. Another record to be smashed on Monday was Australia’s mean temperature. The country averaged 32.23, easily eclipsing the previous record – set on December 21, 1972 – of 31.86 degrees. Just 0.13 degrees separated the previous four highest mean temperatures, underscoring how far above average the day was. The scorching temperatures could last into the weekend and beyond, Dr Jones said, potentially breaking the country’s all-time high of 50.7 degrees. “The heat over central Australia is not going to go anywhere,” he said, noting that the northern monsoon and southern cold fronts have all been weak recently. “We know the air mass is hot enough to challenge the Oodnadatta record.” While the national data goes all the way back to 1910, the bureau views the figures are most reliable from about 1950. Before today, six of the 20 hottest days in Australian records have been in 2013 – with that tally likely to rise to seven out of 20 by the day’s end. Here are the rankings:

Hottest national averages on record (before today).

1 January 7, 2013: 40.33 degrees
2 December 21, 1972: 40.17
3 December 20, 1972: 40.01
4 December 22, 1972: 39.82
5 January 1, 1973: 39.79
6 January 6, 2013: 39.71
7 December 17, 2002: 39.7
8 January 2, 1973: 39.65
9 January 3, 2013: 39.55
10 December 16, 2002: 39.54
11 December 30, 1972: 39.48
12 December 31, 1972: 39.43
13 January 27, 1936: 39.4
14 January 1, 1990: 39.39
15 January 4, 2013: 39.32
16 January 5, 2013: 39.26
17 January 2, 1990: 39.22
18 January 2, 2013: 39.21
19 December 18, 2002: 39.2
20 January 13, 1985: 38.98

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

The smartphone growth is global

Last October, we launched Our Mobile Planet, a resource enabling anyone to visualize the ways smartphones are transforming how people connect with information, each other and the places around them.

Today, we’re releasing new 2012 research data, and the findings are clear—smartphone adoption has gone global. Today, Australia, U.K., Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia and UAE each have more than 50 percent of their population on smartphones. An additional seven countries—U.S., New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland—now have greater than 40 percent smartphone penetration. In the U.S., 80 percent of smartphone owners say they don’t leave home without their device—and one in three would even give up their TV before their mobile devices!

We conducted this research to help people to better understand how mobile is changing our world. You can learn about mobile-specific usage trends, use this tool to create custom visualizations of data and more. There’s plenty to discover in the latest research—to dig into new survey data about smartphone consumers in 26 countries from around the world, read our post on the Google Mobile Ads blog or visit http://thinkwithgoogle.com/mobileplanet.

A tribute to Bob Moog

In the mid-1960s, Dr. Robert Moog unleashed a new universe of sounds into musicdom with his invention of the electronic analog Moog Synthesizer. The timbre and tones of these keyboard instruments (true works of art in and of themselves) would come to define a generation of music, featuring heavily in songs by The Beatles, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Kraftwerk and many others.

When people hear the word “synthesizer” they often think “synthetic”—fake, manufactured, unnatural. In contrast, Bob Moog’s synthesizers produce beautiful, organic and rich sounds that are, nearly 50 years later, regarded by many professional musicians as the epitome of an electronic instrument. “Synthesizer,” it turns out, refers to the synthesis embedded in Moog’s instruments: a network of electronic components working together to create a whole greater than the sum of the parts.

With his passion for high-tech toolmaking in the service of creativity, Bob Moog is something of a patron saint of the nerdy arts and a hero to many of us here. So for the next 24 hours on our homepage, you’ll find an interactive, playable logo inspired by the instruments with which Moog brought musical performance into the electronic age. You can use your mouse or computer keyboard to control the mini-synthesizer’s keys and knobs to make nearly limitless sounds. Keeping with the theme of 1960s music technology, we’ve patched the keyboard into a 4-track tape recorder so you can record, play back and share songs via short links or Google+.

Much like the musical machines Bob Moog created, this doodle was synthesized from a number of smaller components to form a unique instrument. When experienced with Google Chrome, sound is generated natively using the Web Audio API—a doodle first (for other browsers the Flash plugin is used). This doodle also takes advantage of JavaScript, Closure libraries, CSS3 and tools like Google Web Fonts, the Google+ API, the Google URL Shortener and App Engine.

Special thanks to engineers Reinaldo Aguiar and Rui Lopes and doodle team lead Ryan Germick for their work, as well as the Bob Moog Foundation and Moog Music for their blessing. Now give those knobs a spin and compose a tune that would make Dr. Moog smile!