Weather News

Gruelling heatwave intensifies near its end

Ben Domensino, Thursday January 12, 2017 - 14:52 AEDT

An extreme heatwave affecting parts of central and eastern Australia will come to a scorching end during the next few days, although more hot weather is just around the corner.

A lingering mass of hot air has kept temperatures well above average in parts of South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales during the past few days and nights.

The persistent high temperatures have made every-day tasks like working and sleeping a strain.

The most notable heat has occurred near the nation's interior, where Oodnadatta recorded tops of 43-44 degrees during the past seven days. Today should make eight in a row, which has only happened twice in the past 15 years prior to this.

Further east, Bourke exceeded 40 degrees each day since Sunday and has had a particularly torrid last 24 hours. Yesterday's high of 46 degrees was followed by a low of 30.3 overnight, which is within three degrees of the minimum temperature record for the town.

Thargomindah in southern Queensland has also spent the last two nights over 30 degrees and the last two days over 43.

Coastal areas of New South Wales received a taste of the inland heat yesterday, before it was cut short by a southerly change. Parts of Sydney that hit 42 degrees on Wednesday afternoon, like Richmond, should only get to about to 30 today.

Looking ahead, the final burst of heat for the week will occur on Friday and Saturday as northwesterly winds strengthen ahead of an approaching cold front.

On Friday, parts of central Australia, New South Wales and southern Queensland could see their highest temperatures of this heatwave.

The mercury is forecast to reach 45-46 degrees in Moomba, Thargomindah, Tibooburra, Walgett, Nyngan and Bourke and could hit 47 degrees in parts of western New South Wales.

Winds ahead of the change will be strong enough to carry the heat across the Divide on Friday as well. Western Sydney is expected to reach the forties for the second time in three days, although a sea breeze should keep the city in the low-to-mid thirties.

Blustery winds will help to elevate the fire danger ratings to Very High or Severe levels in some areas on Friday, particularly in New South Wales.

On Saturday, the hot air will be pushed further north and east by a trough of low pressure. This will end the heatwave for most areas near the interior, where Moomba and Tibooburra are tipped to be at least 10 degrees cooler than Friday.

Saturday will be the hottest day of the week for southeast Queensland, including Brisbane and parts of northeast New South Wales. Brisbane should reach about 34 degrees on Friday and a few degrees higher on Saturday, although humidity will make it feel warmer.

The severe to extreme heatwave will be over for most areas of central and eastern Australia by Sunday. Unfortunately, the respite won't last long as the next round of heat won't be far away.

Hot northerly winds will redevelop early next week across parts of southern and eastern Australia.

As a result, temperatures could creep back towards the mid-forties over some inland areas from about Tuesday. Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney could all reach the high thirties on Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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