Warning as mercury soars to scorching 36C

High temperatures are forecast for October 1, the day of the NRL Grand Final, across Sydney and the Northern Territory. Picture: Windy.com
Australians are going to feel the heat this weekend. Picture: Windy.com

Families travelling over the holiday weekend are being warned to brace for “risky” bushfire conditions after a snap ban was put in place in some of NSW’s most sought-after tourist destinations.

Australia’s eastern states are forecast to swelter through the holiday weekend with temperatures forecast to reach 36C, triggering a ban on solid fuel fires in national parks on the NSW south coast.

NPWS South Coast director Kane Weeks said campfires and solid fuel fires were “too risky” under the current conditions, with travellers instead limited to gas, liquid fuel or electric stoves.

“Right along the coastal and escarpment reserves, dry conditions combined with hot, dry weather means that campfires are a risk in bushland areas throughout the region,” Mr Weeks said.

The "park fire ban" means that only gas, liquid fuel stoves and electric BBQs can be used. Picture: Supplied
The ‘park fire ban’ means that only gas, liquid fuel stoves and electric BBQs can be used. Picture: Supplied

“Bushfires can start very easily from the sparks of a campfire … All it takes is a gust of wind and we could have a bushfire. There are many examples where campfires caused major bushfires.”

The sizzling weather will begin to settle into the east from Friday, as a mass of hot air from Western Australia makes its way south where it will remain until at least Wednesday.

“Over the coming days heat really settles into parts of the southeast,” Sky News meteorologist Bradlyn Oakes said.

“Part of this is helped by the upper atmosphere pattern; we’ve got a lot of hot air pulling in and you can see it out there.

“That stretches from the northwest down toward the southeast, keeping things very warm for the next few days ahead.”

Rugby league lovers are being warned that this year’s NRL grand final could be the hottest on record off the back off an earlier heatwave in September.

Record temperatures are predicted to hit Sydney on Sunday, coinciding with the 2023 NRL grand final between the Penrith Panthers and Brisbane Broncos. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

The Broncos-Panthers dust-up is booked for 7.30pm at Accor Stadium, with temperature to hover around 30C at the 7.30pm kick-off.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley said the league was “ready for any circumstances” as organisers faced down Sunday’s brutal heat.

If any Greater Sydney weather station exceeds 37.3C in the first three days of October, it will be the highest early spring temperature on record.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts temperatures to reach a maximum of 36C on Sunday in the city, up 8C from the day before.

While conditions are expected to ease on Monday, the mercury is expected to rise again into next week with highs of 37C on Tuesday.

Though the grand final will be a scorcher, Tuesday’s temperatures are truly concerning, according to Ms Oakes.

NRL Fans Colour
Rugby league lovers are being warned that this year’s NRL grand final could be the hottest on record Picture: NCA NewsWire / Brendan Read

“There are many areas of NSW as well as down through the ACT and Victoria that are likely to be 8, 10, 12, 14 degrees above average,” she said.

Melbourne is forecast to reach a maximum of 29C on Saturday before the temperature dips slightly into next week as up to 15mm of rain moves in.

In the nation’s capital, temperatures are forecast to reach a whopping 31C on Tuesday compared with 19C recorded on the same day last year.

Brisbane is also expected to reach as high as 27C over the weekend, while Hobart will reach 23C on Saturday – 10C above the same day last year.

Fire warning

The Northern Territory is also staring down a blast of heat and fire danger warnings.

The bureau issued fire warnings for the Darwin and Adelaide River, Gregory South East and Barkly North districts on Thursday.

“Warm and dry with moderate to fresh and gusty northeast to south-easterly winds across most parts of the Territory,” the bureau said.

“Winds combined with high fuel loads will result in elevated fire dangers in the Barkly North, Darwin and Adelaide River and Gregory South East fire weather district.”

Catastrophic fire danger is forecast for Barkly North, while extreme fire danger is forecast for the Darwin and Adelaide River and Gregory South East.

NT Fire and Rescue Service has advised residents to immediately action their bushfire survival plans.

Temperatures are forecast to hover around 34C and 35Cs through to Monday.

The national breakdown

The bureau forecasts a max temperature of 3C to hit Adelaide on Saturday, while Brisbane will experience temperatures in the high 20s.

Perth will enjoy a cooler weekend, with max temperatures forecast to reach 22C on Saturday and 21C on Sunday.