Australia’s west will be gripped by a severe to extreme heatwave during the remainder of this week, with temperatures set to exceed 40ºC in Perth and reach close to 50ºC in the Gascoyne.
A stubborn ridge of high pressure located to the south of Australia will direct hot and dry air towards the west coast of WA over the next few days.
This weather pattern, which is typical at this time of year, will cause a prolonged spell of very warm days and nights over a broad area of WA. The persistence of this heat will qualify as a severe to extreme heatwave over much of WA’s west coast and adjacent inland, including Perth.
Image: Heatwave forecast for the three days starting on Thursday, February 8.
Daytime maximum temperatures in Perth are forecast to reach at least 36ºC from today until at least next Tuesday, with Thursday to Friday likely to see maximums around 39 to 41ºC. Overnight minimum temperatures will also be very warm in the city, possibly only dropping to the low to mid-twenties on most nights during the coming week.
Further north, temperatures could reach the high forties in the Gascoyne region this weekend or early next week. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Gascoyne Junction is forecast to reach around 48ºC between this coming Sunday and Tuesday, which is not far off its record of 48.8ºC.
If sea breezes fail to keep this intense heat away from Carnarvon, its record of 47.8ºC could also be under threat.
Image: Forecast maximum temperature on Saturday, February 10, according to the ECMWF-HRES model.
Handling heatwaves in Australia
While WA is prone to extreme heat at this time of year, prolonged periods of hot weather like this one can have adverse effects on health and the environment.
Here are some tips on how to cope with heatwaves in Australia:
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid alcohol or drinks high in sugar.
Stay inside air-conditioned buildings where possible, particularly during the hottest parts of the day.
Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing and use a hat and sunscreen if going outdoors.
Seek medical attention if you or anyone around you experiences symptoms of heat-related illnesses such as dizziness, nausea, headache, confusion, or fainting.
© Weatherzone 2024
14:25 AEDT Heavy rain and thunderstorms soaked parts of southeast Qld on Monday into Tuesday morning, with the unstable weather even causing a waterspout in Moreton Bay.