Millions of people in five states and territories are being warned to brace for heatwave conditions, with the mercury set to top 45C over the Australia Day holiday.
Residents in NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory are forecast to swelter through heatwave conditions on Friday.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Gabrielle Woodhouse said the mercury could reach a high of up to 38C in parts of Sydney as much of the state swelters.
“We’re expecting temperatures to be between 40-43C in parts of the Hunter Coast and maybe even up to 45C in parts of the Mid North Coast,” she said.
“Through the northern inland and NSW, we’re also expecting temperatures to get up into the low 40s on Friday. So, somewhere between about 40-44C.”
Newcastle is forecast to reach a whopping 41C for the public holiday. Other impacted areas include Camden, Hornsby, Lismore, Orange and Wollongong.
Further north, Brisbane residents are being warned to brace for scorching temperatures of up to 36C on Friday, according to the bureau.
Ms Woodhouse said Cyclone Kirrily had brought heat across South East Queensland and that while the days would be hot, the nights were unlikely to cool down.
“With these sorts of heatwave conditions, both during the day and overnight, that means that you don’t really get that relief and that ability to sleep,” she said.
“So, it can make you a little bit more irritable and not able to cope with the heat just because you can’t cool down overnight.”
Much of the state’s rural communities are likewise forecast for low-level or severe heatwaves conditions, including Bowen, Mackay, Roma and Gladstone.
Remote areas of Central and South Australia, including Alice Springs, Yulara, and Coober Pedy, are also forecast to expect low-level heatwave conditions.
While the hot weather warnings could impact revelries across Australia’s southeast, conditions are forecast to ease across the board over the holiday weekend.
“We’ll see a cooler, southerly change that will move up the coast. That will reach Sydney on Friday afternoon, then continue up the coast,” Ms Woodhouse said.
🌡️Away from the tropical cyclone, a severe to extreme heatwave continues in western Queensland, with a heatwave warning current. Birdsville is expecting a maximum temperature of 49°C tomorrow after an overnight minimum of 32°C. https://t.co/DVcIVq49qKpic.twitter.com/GD2AkIXC0g
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) January 24, 2024
“That will continue into South East Queensland during Saturday and so that’s where we will see those conditions cool and become a little more bearable”.
Brisbane will dip back down to 32C on Saturday, while the mercury in Sydney will plummet to just 26C – a decrease of 11C – off the back of forecast showers.
Further west, heatwave conditions will diminish greatly from Thursday in Western Australia, with Perth dipping slightly from a high of 32C on Friday.
Melbourne is forecast to reach 24C on Sunday before climbing to 33C on Monday, while Canberra is forecast to reach a high of 29C over the weekend.
In Hobart, temperatures are forecast to sit in the low 20s over the weekend before a spike in heat on Monday with 28C. Adelaide is also forecast to reach 34C.