Weather Fire and health risks as south-east Australia warned to prepare for days of searing heat

Fire and health risks as south-east Australia warned to prepare for days of searing heat

Much of Australia will swelter until Australia Day Photo: BoM
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Temperatures are building across Australia’s southeast as residents in three states are warned of days of extreme temperatures.

Heat building over western NSW is expected to push towards the east coast over the weekend and early next week, forcing temperatures up to 16 degrees above average.

Temperatures across southeast Australia are set to soar for at least the next four days, with some areas reaching 45 degrees.

“We have a large high pressure system sitting out in the Tasman and inland trough and together they’re acting to funnel in a hot northerly air mass into the state,” the Bureau of Meteorology’s Alexander Majchrowski said.

“We’ll be experiencing severe to extreme heatwave conditions for much of the state over the next several days.”

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service warned of an elevated fire danger won Sunday and Monday, urging to use the next few days to prepare.

Bega, on the south coast, is expected to reach at least 39 degrees on Monday, and western Sydney will be in the same range on Sunday and Monday.

Other parts of southern NSW could experience temperatures up to 45 degrees on Sunday and Monday, according to BOM.

Australia Day will be hot too, with temperatures unlikely to cool of until Wednesday.

Hot Victoria nights

Victoria will also see its temperatures build to a peak on Monday, with most major centres in the state’s north surpassing 40 degrees.

NSW-Victoria border towns could endure temperatures up to 44 degrees.

BOM meteorologist Jonathan How said the heat was going to be focused around northern Victoria, south-east SA and the NSW Riverina region.

“Multiple centres along the Murray are going to get days in a row of 44 to 45 degrees with little relief overnight,” he said.

While a cool change is due to hit the state’s southwest on Monday, the relief won’t reach the northeast before early Tuesday morning.

Victorians could find themselves sweating through the night on Sunday and Monday as temperatures stay high even after the sun sets.

Mr How said conditions over the weekend in southeast Australia would be the warmest since January 2020.

He said relief would not arrive for at least four days.

“We are really going to see the heat start moving to South Australia and Victoria over the weekend,” he said.

Adelaide is forecast to hit 39 degrees Celsius Saturday and 41 degrees on Sunday, while Western Sydney will sweat through multiple days in the high 30s and low 40s.

heatwave adelaide
Beaches are expected to be popular as temperatures soar. Photo: AAP

Water warning

The heatwave also has lifesavers on high alert, with Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce saying this is “probably the weekend we’ve been looking out for”.

The heat is likely to drive people to the beach and a large swell will pose some “real challenges” for lifesavers and life guards, Mr Pearce told reporters. More than 1000 people have required rescuing since Christmas Day.

A severe to extreme heatwave is already besetting southwest Western Australia and western South Australia. A low intensity heatwave is expected to persist in SA until next week.

-with AAP