Pat Shingleton for Wednesday, June 19, 2013

On Thursday, we officially begin the summer season, while in the Southern Hemisphere and Australia, winter begins. The Climate Information Service at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne reported the climatological results of summer, which runs from December through February. Sydney and Hobart set daily heat records with an average daytime high of 85 degrees. This shattered an 81-year-old record while the average high throughout the country was 98, which was also a record-setter. Similar to sections of California and Colorado, the extreme heat caused bushfires in various regions. Tropical Cyclone Oswald caused excessive rainfall and flooding in Queensland and New South Wales. Gladstone recorded 32 inches of rain in four days, more than an entire month and more rain than in 2011 and 2012. Fastcast: Steamy, then thunder.