Temperatures are tipped to soar above 40 degrees Celsius throughout Australia as extreme weather hits parts of South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
The mercury is expected to reach 49C in Marble Bar and Pannawonica in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The remote Aboriginal community of Oak Valley – north-west of Ceduna on South Australia’s west coast – is set to record 47C.
Cooper Pedy and Roxby Downs in the state’s north are also expected to reach 46C.
Alice Springs will reach 43C, Canberra is forecast to hit 37C and Adelaide is expected to hit 41C today and 39C on Friday.
South Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster Bonnie Haselgrove said that in the north-east corner of the state, forecast maximums were expected to remain in the 40s for the next week.
“So there is heatwave conditions going in that part of the state,” Ms Haselgrove said.
“They extend right through northern Victoria and into New South Wales.
“Heat and the winds has led to those conditions.”
An extreme fire danger warning has been issued for the Mount Lofty Ranges and a severe warning has been declared in nine other districts.
Melbourne is forecast to hit a maximum of 36C, with northern Victorian towns of Mildura, Swan Hill and Echuca expected to reach 44C today.
Victorian BOM senior forecaster Rod Dixon said the region was set to swelter before a cool change on Saturday night.
“We may well break some records across northern Victoria in terms of consecutive days across 40C for this heatwave, so it is certainly a noteworthy event,” Mr Dixon said.
In Sydney, where a top of 29C is expected, crowds have flocked to Bondi Beach to escape the heat.
Lifeguard Bruce Hopkins said the cool sea breeze was a big drawcard.
“We’ve got a nice north-easterly breeze blowing and it’s a bit cooler than what it would be out west,” he said.
“Right now, it’s actually quite nice, because there’s a breeze coming out, but when you go out there (away from the beach) it’s really hot,” he said.
Hot weather to continue to New Year’s Eve
From today until Saturday, the BOM is expecting severe to extreme heatwave conditions to continue to expand across South Australia, south-east New South Wales and into eastern Victoria.
Extreme heatwave conditions will be experienced south of Broken Hill to Sydney down to north-east Victoria.
North-east Tasmania will also be under a severe heatwave.
Over the weekend, severe temperatures will reach western Sydney, with temperatures forecast for 41C in Penrith.
The BOM is predicting conditions for New Year’s Eve will still be severe, extending from central Australia through most of New South Wales to the coast.
Sydney is forecast to reach 32C on Monday.
In Victoria, a cool change is forecast to bring milder temperatures, with a maximum of around 25C for Melbourne.