Weather News

Spring ending with a dangerous heatwave

Ben Domensino, Thursday November 26, 2020 - 11:17 EDT

A large pool of extremely hot air is about to sweep across Australia, challenging records and lifting fire danger ratings in a number of states and territories.

Two broad and slow-moving low pressure troughs will drag a mass of hot air over southern and eastern Australia during the coming week. This prolonged spell of abnormally hot weather will cause severe to extreme heatwave conditions as temperatures soar more than 15ºC above average in some areas.

The hottest air will target the outback, where temperatures should hit 45-46ºC in parts of SA, NSW and Queensland on multiple days, possibly higher in some places.

Image: Saturday will be one of the hottest days of this heatwave, with temperatures likely to reach 46ºC in some parts of the country.

In SA, Oodnadatta is forecast to reach a scorching 47ºC on Saturday. This is less than half a degree off its spring record of 47.3ºC from 2006.

Further south, Renmark is one of several SA locations that are forecast to reach 46ºC on Saturday. This would be a new spring record for Renmark, beating 45.3ºC from 2012.

Over the border in NSW, Brewarrina has an unfortunate forecast of three consecutive 45ºC days between Sunday and Tuesday, bookended by 42ºC days on Saturday and Wednesday. In records dating back to 1911, Brewarrina has never registered three 45ºC days in a row at any time of year.

In Queensland, the heat will initially target the southwest before creeping into the southeast early next week.

Birdsville is tipped to reach 45ºC to 46ºC for five consecutive days starting on Friday. This would be Birdsville’s earliest five-day spell at or above 45ºC on record, with data going back to 1954.

Victoria will escape the most intense heat, although temperatures could still rise to the mid-forties in the northwest by the weekend. Mildura, Swan Hill and Ouyen are all forecast to reach 44ºC on Saturday.

Image: Some national and state springtime heat records to keep in mind during this heatwave.

The impending heat will help cause Very High to Extreme fire danger ratings in parts of southern and eastern Australia during the coming week. 

Be sure to avoid the heat where possible and keep an eye on the latest bush and grass  fire information in your state or territory.

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