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Unseasonal heatwave to hit Australia bringing temperatures above 40C

Temperatures could hit 40 degrees later this week as an autumn heatwave rolls across the country.

Summer is lingering for Australia’s east coast with another ‘intense’ autumn heatwave on the way this week.

A hot air mass is moving over the eastern states and will see temperatures soar on Thursday. "NSW is in the bullseye", says Weatherzone with Sydney forecast for an unseasonal 35-degree maximum.

“We will see temperatures in the mid to high 30s across much of NSW, reaching into the low 40s for the far northwest of the state,” meteorologist Felix Levesque told Yahoo News Australia.

“Expect temperatures in the mid 30s around Sydney, creeping up into the high 30s in the western suburbs.”

Hundreds of people on Bondi beach in Sydney, NSW.
The heatwave is set to hit on Thursday and hang around for five days, bringing temperatures in the mid 30s to Sydney. Source: AAP

While in far northwest NSW, the town of Tibooburra is expected to hit 41 on Saturday with Wanaaring to reach 42 on Sunday. In Queensland, Brisbane will reach 34 on Thursday and 35 on Friday.

Run of 'remarkable' hot autumn spell

"It's not just the unseasonably hot temperatures a few days before the autumn equinox that is newsworthy here," Weatherzone said. "The prolonged nature of the coming hot spell is quite remarkable."

In Bourke in the upper west of NSW, temperatures will run from 40 to 39 between Thursday and Monday, while the average maximum for the month is 32.6.

"It's worth noting that four consecutive days of 40 degrees of higher have never occurred this late in 150 years of records," Weatherzone said.

While in Penrith in western Sydney, temperatures are expected to run at 38, 34, 38, 37 and 35 degrees from Thursday through to Monday.

A heat map of Australia.
The Weatherzone says the mercury could climb into the low 40s around parts of NSW. Source: Weatherzone

Three other states to feel the heat

With the hot air mass centred over the interior of the country, a further three states are set to swelter in the coming days.

“There’ll be some further, more intense heat over northern South Australia and southern Northern Territory,” Mr Levesque added.

After a milder, southerly change moves into the southwest of NSW on Friday, temperatures are expected to “warm up pretty quickly” again on the weekend.

While it's set to sit around the mid 30s through central parts of the state and into the high 30s and low 40s for western NSW, temperatures could rise all the way down to northwestern Victoria with the mercury reaching close to 40 degrees.

The Bureau of Meteorology's climate indicators on whether an El Nino will form later this year.
The Bureau of Meteorology says there is a 50 per cent chance that the country could move into an El Nino later this year. Source: BOM

Official end of La Nina

The heatwave warning comes a day after the Bureau of Meteorology announced the official end of the third consecutive La Nina.

“The El Nino-Southern Oscillation is now neutral (neither La Nina nor El Nino) with oceanic and atmospheric indicators having returned to neutral ENSO levels,” the bureau wrote online.

With a 50 per cent chance that an El Nino could form later in the year, an ‘El Nino Watch’ has been issued.

“La Nina promotes a wetter climate, more cloud cover and cooler temperatures, whereas El Nino promotes a drier climate, less cloud cover in warmer temperatures,” Mr Levesque said.

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