A stifling heatwave stretching across five states could potentially set new heat records in multiple states as temperatures spike to the mid-40s.
Western Australia and north-western parts of Queensland were sweltering on Tuesday with Northam in WA hitting 44 degrees Celsius and Concurry in the Sunshine State reaching 43.
While the maximum temperature will start to fall slightly in the north over coming days, things are only getting started in the southeast.
South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria are in for a scorcher this weekend, with some towns expecting temperatures less than one degree off a new monthly record.
“There certainly is a chance that those records could be challenged,” Weatherzone Meteorologist Joel Pippard told Yahoo News Australia.
Hottest towns in the southeast this weekend
While extreme temperatures don’t often come as a surprise in Western Australia and Central Queensland, it’s particularly unusual to see them in the southeast.
The hottest towns in the southeast will see maximum temperatures in the mid-40s.
In South Australia, the far-north town of Tarcoola is forecast to reach 46 on Saturday.
According to Weatherzone, Tarcoola’s hottest temperature ever recorded in November was set back in 2006 with a high of 46.5 - just half a degree higher than Saturday’s expected top.
Mildura in Victoria’s northwestern town is also predicted to reach 45 on Saturday, again coming within half a degree of the November 2012 record of 45.5.
In NSW, the town of Bourke in the state’s north-west will hit 45 on Sunday, just short of the November 2009 record of 46.6.
Outlook on our capital cities
The most extreme temps may be in rural areas, but it doesn’t mean the capital cities have escaped the heat.
Adelaide will start to warm up on Wednesday and Thursday, with 33 predicted for both days.
Over Friday and Saturday, the maximum temperature will jump to 40 before cooling down to 27 on Sunday.
Melbourne’s hottest day will be Friday with a high of 31, while Sydneysiders can expect 33 on Saturday and 36 on Sunday.
Those in Sydney’s west, however, will have a much hotter weekend, with 40 on Saturday and 41 on Sunday.
Canberra will peak at 34 on Sunday and Brisbane will see 32 on Sunday and 33 on Monday.
Perth’s hottest temperature this week has already passed, with a high of 33 recorded on Tuesday.
Stay cool and check on your neighbours
Heatwaves pose serious health risks to the community - especially the elderly, children, those who are vulnerable and animals.
Mr Pippard said it was important to stay “as cool as possible”.
“The obvious thing is - if you have air conditioning, use it,” he said.
“Check up on your neighbours, particularly if they’re elderly or need help.
“Try and stay as cool as possible. The thing about a heatwave is, the nights will also be warm. Your house will stay really hot so it could lead to exacerbated conditions.”
He advised the public to avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days: “unless you are particularly fit”.
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