On the measurement of heat waves Perkins, Sarah en_US Alexander, Lisa en_US 2021-11-25T12:30:15Z 2021-11-25T12:30:15Z 2013 en_US
dc.description.abstract Despite their adverse impacts, definitions and measurements of heat waves are ambiguous and inconsistent, generally being endemic to only the group affected, or the respective study reporting the analysis. The present study addresses this issue by employing a set of three heat wave definitions, derived from surveying heat-related indices in the climate science literature. The definitions include three or more consecutive days above one of the following: the 90th percentile for maximum temperature, the 90th percentile for minimum temperature, and positive extreme heat factor (EHF) conditions. Additionally, each index is studied using a multiaspect framework measuring heat wave number, duration, participating days, and the peak and mean magnitudes. Observed climatologies and trends computed by Sen's Kendall slope estimator are presented for the Australian continent for two time periods (1951–2008 and 1971–2008). Trends in all aspects and definitions are smaller in magnitude but more significant for 1951–2008 than for 1971–2008. Considerable similarities exist in trends of the yearly number of days participating in a heat wave and yearly heat wave frequency, suggesting that the number of available heat wave days drives the number of events. Larger trends in the hottest part of a heat wave suggest that heat wave intensity is increasing faster than the mean magnitude. Although the direct results of this study cannot be inferred for other regions, the methodology has been designed as such that it is widely applicable. Furthermore, it includes a range of definitions that may be useful for a wide range of systems impacted by heat waves. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0894-8755 en_US
dc.language English
dc.language.iso EN en_US
dc.rights CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.source Legacy MARC en_US
dc.title On the measurement of heat waves en_US
dc.type Journal Article en
dcterms.accessRights open access
dspace.entity.type Publication en_US
unsw.description.publisherStatement © Copyright (2013) American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act September 2010 Page 2 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at ( or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or en_US
unsw.identifier.doiPublisher en_US
unsw.relation.faculty Science
unsw.relation.ispartofissue 13 en_US
unsw.relation.ispartofjournal Journal of Climate en_US
unsw.relation.ispartofpagefrompageto 4500-4517 en_US
unsw.relation.ispartofvolume 26 en_US
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation Perkins, Sarah, Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), Faculty of Science, UNSW en_US
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation Alexander, Lisa, Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), Faculty of Science, UNSW en_US School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences *
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