The first wave of heat for 2017 will sweep across southern Australia this week.
Parts of Western Australia are already in the thick of a hot air mass that will travel eastward across all southern states and territories by the weekend.
Perth is currently experiencing three consecutive days in the high thirties for the first time in a year. The city could even give 40 degrees a nudge later today for the second time this season.
Today's hot weather will raise the fire threat, particularly in the state's west. A fire weather warning has been issued for the Gascoyne, Central West-North and Inland Central West-North fire weather districts.
After another hot day in Perth tomorrow, cooler air will reach the Southwest Land Division late on Wednesday and drop the mercury by more than 10 degrees in Perth and nearby areas by Thursday. The cool change will reach the state's remaining southern districts and the Goldfields on Friday.
South Australia will heat up from Wednesday as northerly winds feed hot air into the state. A slow-moving weather pattern during the remainder of this week will keep temperatures up until the weekend, producing a heatwave across most of the state.
Adelaide will climb into the mid-to-high thirties from Wednesday until Saturday and could reach 40 degrees at the end of the week. This would be Adelaide's second 40 degree day since the start of 2016, after 41.3 degrees on Christmas Day.
A cool change is expected sweep across southern parts of South Australia on Saturday and drop temperatures by about 10 degrees, although the state's north should remain hot into the following week.
The mercury will climb across Victoria from Wednesday and should reach the low forties in the northwest by Friday.
Melbourne should see at least three consecutive days over 30 degrees this week, most likely Friday to Sunday. There is a chance the city could have five 30 degree days-in-a-row from Wednesday and Sunday, which hasn't happened in two years.
A cool change should cross the state on Sunday, ushering in a cooler start to next week.
Tasmania's warmest weather will occur on the weekend, before a cool change arrives on Sunday. Hobart should reach the high-twenties and some parts of the state could climb to around 30 degrees on Saturday.
Most of New South Wales and the ACT will receive the heat from the end of the week. Temperatures are expected to climb into the low thirties in Canberra over the weekend and into the start of next week. Sydney should have a few days in the thirties from Sunday.
Winds will remain relatively light as the hot air sweeps from South Australia around to New South Wales during the next week. This will help to suppress fire danger ratings in most areas.
The latest heatwave forecasts are available through the Bureau of Meteorology at: http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/heatwave/
The latest fire weather warnings cn be found by visiting: http://www.weatherzone.com.au/warnings.jsp
© Weatherzone 2017
16:34 AEDT Prolonged heatwave conditions are helping elevate the bushfire threat in parts of New South Wales this week, after a slow start to the season.