Sweltering heatwave set to scorch large parts of Australia until the new year

Australians are facing unprecedented heat, with some areas set for maximum temperatures above 40C for four days straight for the first time in 90 years.

Extreme record-breaking heatwave conditions are forecast to sweep across four states over coming days, sparking health and fire warnings.

A broad area stretching across much of southern Australia is set to experience the hot weather, with temperatures generally 10C to 14C higher than usual for this time of year, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

The mercury is expected to soar above 40C in many parts, and residents in Mildura, in north west Victoria, could see maximum temperatures stay above 40C for four days in a row for the first time in 90 years.

But that scorching temperatures haven’t stopped droves of people hitting beaches across the country.

Millions have packed beaches despites warnings from lifesavers warning of closures, bad conditions and several shark sightings.

There’s plenty more of yesterday’s sweltering Christmas weather to come, as an oppressive and sustained heatwave is set to linger into the new year.

Grab the suncream and the pina coladas because it’s going to stay dry and hot for most of us over the next couple of days, except for Far North Queensland which will cop showers and thunderstorms.

“This heatwave that’s developing now over southern and southeastern Australia is going to be challenging the record books,” Sky News senior meteorologist Tristan Meyers said.

“This is not only due to how hot individual days are going to be — for example 45C, 46C, and potentially 47C in parts of western, southern NSW, northern Victoria and South Australia — but also how prolonged it’s going to be.

“For some areas we’re going to see a week or more of 45C-plus temperatures and that hasn’t ever happened before — particularly in December, but potentially all time.”

Mr Meyers said this unusually hot festive period has been caused by a “special” high-pressure system — called a blocking system — brewing off the east coast.

“It’s not really moving anywhere,” he said. “It’s waxing and waning in intensity over the next week or two, but it’s kind of sticking around the same position.”

This means it will continue to swirl and throw incredibly hot northern air onto the heavily populated coastal areas of Australia, causing a sustained heatwave across much of the country.

Some inland towns and cities will also cop it particularly badly. Coober Pedy in northern South Australia will see four consecutive days above 45C.

Heat records will be challenged in Mildura, northwest Victoria, as well which could hit 47C and swelter through six days above 40C — which has never happened there in December.

Spectators heading to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the Boxing Day Test can expect a rather more pleasant high of 26C, but will need to slap on the suncream.

Temperatures are set to rise throughout the week before dropping off at the weekend.


It’s just getting hotter and hotter in Sydney, with the mercury hitting 28C today and steadily increasing to 32C on New Year’s Eve. It will be dry and sunny every day except the last day of the year which is forecast to be partly cloudy with a slight chance of a shower.

If you thought that was hot, spare a thought for the nation’s capital Canberra which will cop 35C heat today — steadily increasing to 39C by Saturday.

Melbourne, will be a bit cooler today, with temperatures set to hit a high of 26C. But the mercury heads upwards again tomorrow, with a maximum of 35C and Friday forecast to tip 32C with the chance of a shower.

In Hobart , there’s a chance of rain today with temperatures hitting a modest 20C. But even the Tassie capital will sweat through the rest of the year with tomorrow’s high expected to reach 27C and Friday hitting 28C.

The high-pressure system in Adelaide could see the mercury top out at a blistering 37C today, 41C tomorrow and 39C on Friday. Temperatures won’t get below 30C for the rest of the week.

Perth will be sunny and dry until the new year. Today there will be a high of 29C, dipping to a more pleasant 27C tomorrow and 26C on Friday.

Darwin follows its usual weather pattern for this time of year with a strong chance of thunderstorms over the coming days. It will hit 34C today and 33C on Thursday and Friday.

Brisbane will hit 29C today and tomorrow before creeping up to a high of 30C on Friday. It will be dry and sunny heading into the new year.

Credit: www.news.com.au