Weather News

Heating up across NSW

Ben Domensino, Wednesday October 31, 2018 - 10:35 AEDT


A low-intensity heatwave is affecting NSW this week, with some areas likely to see their first 40 degree day of the season.


A stream of northwesterly winds will transport a pool of hot air from central Australia across NSW during the second half of this week.


According to the Bureau of Meteorology, a low-intensity heatwave will affect many areas of western NSW between Wednesday and Friday. The hot air will contract to eastern and northeast NSW from the weekend, where a low-intensity to locally severe heatwave will continue into the start of next week.


Heatwaves in Australia are defined as three or more days and nights where temperatures remain unusually high, relative to a location's long-term average and the temperatures observed during the last 30 days.


The temperature threshold for heatwaves differs for each part of Australia and at different times of the year, so a single temperature value can't be used to identify heatwaves across the country.


The three types of heatwave classifications in Australia are: Low-intensity, Severe and Extreme.


As the name suggests, low-intensity heatwaves generally aren't dangerous and most people will be able to cope with these conditions.


Severe heatwaves start to place more stress on vulnerable groups of the community, such as the elderly, pregnant women, young babies and those with chronic illness.


Extreme heatwaves are the most intense type and may impact infrastructure, such as transport and power networks, and pose a threat to the health and wellbeing of regular members of the community. These events also pose a threat to pets and livestock.


While heatwaves may seem benign compared to other types of extreme weather, such as thunderstorms or tropical cyclones, they are the most deadly natural hazard in Australia. More than 370 people lost their lives in the heatwave that preceded the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, while the fires themselves claimed just over 170 lives directly.


This week's heat is likely to elevate fire danger ratings in NSW. Visit https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/ for the latest information on fire bans and ratings.


- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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