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Wind change to test NSW firefighters

Brett Dutschke, Sunday October 27, 2013 - 15:02 EDT

Bushfire fighters in New South Wales will be tested by a burst of stronger winds in the next few days, but conditions should fail to reach the severity of the past few weeks.

Wind will be whipped up by a low pressure system crossing from South Australia across northern Victoria and southern NSW.

On Monday wind the strongest wind and highest fire danger in the state will be in the west, west from about Griffith, Trangie and Coonamble.

Nearer the ranges, in the Blue Mountains and Hunter where fires are burning, wind will generally be quite light but variable in direction.

The variability may test firefighters but will at least bring in some moist air on Sunday night/Monday morning and again on Monday evening, keeping fire danger relatively low. On Monday afternoon fire danger will reach its peak as wind turns drier and warmer north-westerly, becoming warmer and a bit drier.

The most testing time for firefighters will be Tuesday when wind shifts from northwesterly to strong southerly then southeasterly.

The initial wind change, from north-westerly to south-westerly should occur in the morning. Late morning or early afternoon wind will strengthen to as it turns more southerly, reaching 20-to-30 km/h and gusting to about 40 km/h, leading to the highest fire danger of the day. Later in the day wind will ease as it turns more humid southeasterly.

The focus of the highest fire danger in the state on Tuesday is looking like the north-west slopes, in the Narrabri and Moree area.

On Wednesday the low should have crossed New Zealand and an area of high pressure will have moved over NSW, resulting a few kinder days ahead.

The next sign of a significant increase in fire risk is next weekend as a low pressure trough develops ahead of a front.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

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