The sweltering heatwave pummelling southeast Australia will continue on Monday, with temperatures set to surpass 40 degrees.
Victoria, Tasmania and western and southern parts of NSW will likely see the hottest temperatures of the first heatwave of 2021 today.
It comes as Victoria Ambulance staff issued a warning not to leave children, elderly relatives or pets in cars under any circumstances, saying the heat will take “just minutes to kill”.
The Victorian town of Shepparton, near the NSW border, will see the mercury rise to 43.
While Sydney’s hottest temperatures will come on Australia Day, temperatures in Sydney’s west on Monday will reach 39.
Penrith in the city’s west is set to hit 41 on Tuesday.
The extreme heat has been even more unbearable due to abnormally high night time temperatures.
Sweltering temperatures recorded overnight
Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Gabrielle Woodhouse said people across SA, Victoria and NSW experienced temperatures up to 30 degrees overnight.
"The important part with the heat we're seeing is those overnight temperatures remaining particularly warm," Ms Woodhouse told reporters, warning of similar conditions overnight Monday.
Severe conditions hit Adelaide and regional South Australia Sunday, as well as regional Victoria, with some regions copping temperatures above 40.
In NSW on Sunday afternoon, temperatures reached 40 in Sydney's west and 43.2 in Hay in the state's western Riverina region.
Ms Woodhouse added that the heat - including overnight temperatures - was unlikely to subside in NSW until Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
Sydney’s coastline will record temperatures around 32 in the city due to a sea breeze.
Ambulance staff advise Australians to stay hydrated
NSW Ambulance's Kay Armstrong told reporters on Sunday that Australians needed to stay hydrated and look out for each other during the heatwave.
The heatwave also has lifesavers on high alert, with Surf Life Saving NSW chief executive Steven Pearce saying this is "probably the weekend we've been looking out for".
Canberra is also forecast to swelter, reaching the mid-30s before an evening shower.
"What we're seeing with this heatwave is multiple days of those really high maximum and minimum temperatures which can be quite difficult to manage when we haven't had a history of that this summer," Ms Woodhouse said.
In Tasmania, a very hot day is forecast for Monday, with temperatures hitting the mid-30s across much of the island's east and south. However, a cool change is expected to reach Hobart around midday.
Relief for Victorians Monday afternoon
A cool change is expected to move east across Victoria on Monday afternoon, dropping temperatures by 10 to 15 degrees within an hour and sparing the state a third straight day of sweltering conditions on Tuesday.
It was still however a sweltering night, with Melbourne’s CBD remaining at 29.5 at 11pm.
Victoria's Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country, North East, East Gippsland and North Central districts are all subject to total fire bans on Monday, with a forecast wind change putting crews on high alert.
Of particular concern to Victorian paramedics is a spate of 24 call-outs for people locked in cars since Thursday, including two on Sunday.
"It is unacceptable to leave anyone or a pet... in a car," Ambulance Victoria's Justin Dunlop said.
"It only takes minutes to kill."
South Australia blaze continues to rage
An emergency alert has been issued for the Cherry Gardens fire burning in a northeasterly direction in the Adelaide Hills.
Residents in the towns of Longwood, Mylor and Biggs Flat are being warned the fire may pose a threat to life and property.
They are being told to leave if it is safe to do so or take shelter.
Bushfires in Cherry Gardens, South Australia. Photos take from Brighton beach. Hope everyone stays safe and listens to expert advice from CFS and other fire services, please don’t let this be a repeat of last year pic.twitter.com/8zaTWrtBIv
— James Norton (@Norto36) January 24, 2021
CFS deputy chief officer Andrew Stark said he feared homes will have been lost overnight, with more to potentially be lost as the fire spreads.
“We expect that there will have been a number of homes that have been lost,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.
The fire has so far burnt at least 2100 hectares.
A 60-year-old man has been charged by police, accused of deliberately starting a fire at Clarendon on Sunday.
— Country Fire Service (@CFSAlerts) January 24, 2021
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