The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast severe to locally extreme heatwave conditions for large areas of South Australia, Victoria, NSW and the ACT, along with parts of northern Tasmania and southern Queensland for the remainder of this week, challening heat records and elevating fire danger ratings.
Image: Forecast surface temperatures on Tuesday, January 15th according to the ACCESS-R forecast model. Source: Weatherzone
Weatherzone’s Ben Domensino said the highest temperatures will occur over inland areas.
Canberra is expected to hit 39 degrees on Tuesday and 40-41 degrees between Wednesday and Friday. Canberra’s longest run of days at or above 40 degrees was three in a row during 2009, with data available back to 1939.
This week’s high temperatures are the latest in a series of heatwaves that have affected Australia since late December.
Shortly after Christmas, Marble Bar registered its highest temperature on record when the mercury hit 49.3 degrees on December 27. A few days later, Alice Springs experienced an unprecedented 45.6 degrees on December 29. This record-breaking temperature was repeated just five days later on January 3.
Temperatures are likely to reach 46-47 degrees in northern Victoria, far western NSW and some inland areas of South Australia during the next few days. Mildura’s forecast tops of 46 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday is close to Victoria’s January record of 47.2 degrees, which also occured in Mildura during 1939.
Another notable observation was a minimum temperature of 34.6 degrees at Borrona Downs – located in far northwest NSW between Tibooburra and Wanaaring – on Monday morning, December 14. This was a new high minimum temperature record for NSW.
Mr Domensino said this week’s heat will be persistent during both days and nights, until a cool change sweeps through South Australia from Thursday, then crosses southeastern Australia on Friday and Saturday.