Most Australian capital cities will swelter through Christmas Day, with temperatures tipped to peak between 24 degrees and 35 degrees across the country.
Forecasters have released their expected temperatures a week out from the big day, which mostly look to be warm and sunny thanks to a high-pressure system developing over southern Australia.
There are, however, extremes at either ends of the scale, Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Grace Legge said.
Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory are in for classic tropical weather, with afternoon showers and storms on the menu. Most of Tasmania is also in for a drizzle-ridden day, with cooler temperatures across the state.
North-western Australia and parts of the Northern Territory can expect to sweat through temperatures above 40 degrees.
“The heatwave that is forecast to stretch from the north-west of Western Australia all the way to central New South Wales later this week will still be making its presence felt, as hot, dry air lingers, bringing very high temperatures to many inland regions,” Ms Legge said.
“Heat will be dragged through much of the country for Christmas, though sea breezes may keep some coastal areas a little cooler than inland parts.”
Your city’s forecast
Festive celebrations in Sydney are likely to involve sunscreen and air conditioning, with the temperature to hit 29 degrees. The New South Wales coast surrounding the city could enjoy a cool reprise.
“In terms of temperature, at this stage it will be in the mid to high 20s for Sydney and so it could be a case where we see a sea breeze it could make it a bit cooler along the coast,” Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster David Wilke told The Daily Telegraph.
The city is likely to experience showers from Thursday through to Sunday, before temperatures rise to a sunny 26 degrees on Christmas Eve.
The jury is still out for Melbourne’s December 25, but it is reasonably safe to say last-minute Christmas Eve shoppers will be regretting their actions more than usual. Monday is tipped to hit 31 degrees in the city, with the possibility of warmer temperatures across northern Victoria.
The bureau’s senior forecaster for Victoria Dean Stewart said Christmas Day was still shaping up to be a warm one for Melbourne and the state, but the duration of the heat would depend on the arrival of a weak southerly change.
Mr Stewart said the change was expected to arrive in Melbourne in the late morning, meaning the temperature would probably peak at 29 degrees.
However, weather is unpredictable. So if the change arrives later in the day, the city could reach temperatures into the early 30s, or if it arrives earlier, keep it in the mid-20s.
“There’s a bit of uncertainty in the timing of that change but our best estimation at this stage is 29 degrees,” Mr Stewart said.
Those in Brisbane, Hobart and Darwin may want to make alternative plans if their Christmas Day lunch involves al fresco dining – showers are a possibility for these centres, according to Weatherzone’s outlook.
Brisbane is set for a partly cloudy day with a low of 19 degrees, a high of 29 degrees, and the chance of late showers.
Storms are on the cards for Darwin, with a low of 27 degrees and a high of 34 degrees likely to create hot and sticky conditions.
In Hobart, the temperature is expected to peak at 24 degrees and dip to a comparatively chilly 14 degrees, with mostly cloudy conditions, cool westerly winds, and periods of rain throughout the day.
Meanwhile, Adelaide and Perth are putting on hot conditions for the traditional backyard cricket match, at 35 and 34 degrees respectively.
Adelaide is due a low of 17 degrees, with south-easterly winds tending to a cooler south-westerly as the sunny day wears on. Perth can expect much of the same.
Canberra is in for a warm one, with a top of 33 degrees, a low of 13 degrees, and a mostly sunny day with north-easterly winds turning north-westerly.