News National What you need to know about the coming heatwave
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What you need to know about the coming heatwave

sydney bondi swimming
Records tumbled this summer and a peak body for climate change says we should expect more heat. Photo: Getty
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Which cities are set for a heatwave?

adelaide heat
It’s already very hot in Adelaide. Photo: Getty

Weatherzone meteorologist Tristan Meyers told The New Daily it will hit “Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane over the next three days”.

The hot air mass will also hit Adelaide.

What will the maximum temperatures in the capital cities be?

bondi beach
Sydney has the hottest high of the capitals. Bondi will be packed. Photo: Getty

Melbourne = 34 degrees on Thursday

Adelaide = 39 on Wednesday

Sydney = 39 on Friday

Canberra = 36 on Friday

Brisbane = 34 on Saturday

Where will the hottest temperatures in the eastern part of Australia be?

Mildura
Mildura and the Wimmera will be especially hot. Photo: Getty

The air mass moving toward the east is “giant”, and therefore it’s hard to directly pinpoint the hottest spots.

However, Mr Meyers said the hottest areas would include the Wimmera and Mildura regions of Victoria, the north of South Australia and the western parts of New South Wales.

Sydney on Friday (39 degrees) is the highest forecasted capital.

These little towns have some seriously sweltering forecasts …

wilcannia
Probably avoid these places. Photo: AAP

In NSW, the town of Wilcannia and Bourke will be hit by 44-degree temperatures on Thursday and Friday respectively, while Walgett to get to 43 on Friday.

For Victoria, Mildura will be 44 degrees on Thursday, and Ouyen will reach 43 on Thursday.

Oodnadatta in South Australia is being warned of 44-degree heat on Thursday, while Moomba has a similar forecast for Friday.

How long will this heatwave last?

road heat mirage marks
Will the hot road ever end? Photo: Getty

About three days and nights.

However cool changes will hit different cities at different times, given the heatwave began at different times for each capital.

Adelaide will cool on Thursday, Melbourne on Friday, Sydney on Saturday and Canberra on Sunday.

For Brisbane, conditions are forecast to be warm through to Monday. However warmer weather in November is not that unusual for Brisbane, Mr Meyers said.

Tasmanian temperatures will be five to six degrees higher than the November average

hobart harbour
Plunge in the Hobart harbour anyone? Photo: Getty

Mr Meyers said Weatherzone forecasted warmer than usual conditions in areas of Tasmania.

“The hottest portion of the air mass is staying well away from Tassie, however they are going to have a spike in on Thursday in north-eastern parts of the state and Hobart (25 degrees) on Thursday.

He said the average for Tasmania in October is between 18 and 19 degrees.

On Thursday, almost half of Australia could be experiencing more than 40-degree heat

australia heatwave map
Source: Bureau of Meteorology

As you can see, the hottest temperatures begin in the central western and southern central areas, and then move out to the eastern areas.

So where is the heat coming from?

the pilbara
The Pilbara is a heat box, not just a dollar box for Australia. Photo: Getty

It’s not just iron ore that we get from the Pilbara.

Most of the heat in Australia, including this heatwave, originates in the Pilbara and the Marble Bar region, through Australia’s north-west.

It’s already been upwards of 45 degrees in those parts this week.

Mr Meyers said north-westerly winds were drawing hot air from this area down into the southern and eastern parts of Australia, causing the heatwave.

October was hot, was it a record?

drought australia
A record was smashed in October. Photo: Getty

It sure was. October 2015 was the hottest October on record, Mr Meyers confirmed.

Bureau of Meteorology records go back to 1910. The maximum temperature nationally was 3.44 degrees above the October average.

The previous record deviation came in September 2013, with a 3.41 degree rise, the Bureau said.

October 1988 was the previous hottest October, but 2015 October beat this mark by 0.7 degrees.

And more records could tumble in this heatwave …

sunny beach
The beach might be the best place given this impending record. Photo: Getty

Mr Meyers said a six-year-old record is in danger of being broken.

“In Adelaide and eastern parts of the Sydney basin, we could have the hottest three days in November since 2009.”

But what’s causing all of this unusually timed heat?

One of the causes is El Niño

clear skies
El Niño means skies are clear. Photo: Getty

“El Niño conditions are the dominant climate conditions for this summer meaning higher-than-average maximum temperatures can be expected,” Mr Meyers said.

He said with El Niño there are “a lot less chances” for clouds to form, meaning there is more chance for hot air masses to develop.

This means rain and cloud cover is being sucked away from Australian shores, out into the Pacific Ocean.

There is also another cause …

indian ocean
The Indian Ocean, shown here off Broome, can have a big effect on the weather. Photo: Getty

El Niño and its influence on higher-than-average temperatures for November is also changed by something called the Indian Ocean Dipole.

This is the difference in water surface temperature for the eastern and western areas of the massive Indian Ocean.

Warm water moves away from Australia, meaning with it, too, goes any rain we might have had.

The coming together of El Niño and Indian Ocean Dipole has created the trend for hotter-than-average maximum temperatures.

It is hoped the effect of the Indian Ocean will calm by the end of November or early December.

Does global warming play a role in any of this?

antarctica
There is not a solid answer on this … yet. Photo: Getty

That’s a hard one to answer, because there may not be an answer yet.

“There is no consensus to whether or not El Niño, its frequency or its strength is related to global warming,” Mr Meyers said.

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