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BREAKING AUSTRALIA WEATHER REPORT: Temperatures to near 45 degrees Celsius between #Christmas & New Year’s Eve

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Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Dec.23: 2022:

#AceWeatherDesk – The first heatwave of summer will send temperatures into the 40s across southern states.

Hot air across Western Australia will shift to southeast states during the coming days
Hot air across Western Australia will shift to southeast states during the coming days(Supplied: Instagram )none

The heatwave will hit between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, increasing the risk of grassfires and heat-related illness during the Christmas break.

It will be a quick turnaround after a cold start to December, and will arrive as a significant mass of hot air currently over the country’s north-west intensifies this week before expanding to southern Australia through the last week of 2022.

Human stress due to heat is not solely based on a single day’s maximum, and therefore no one temperature threshold exists for a heatwave.

Play Video. Duration: 13 seconds
Temperature forecast across the country

The Bureau of Meteorology defines a heatwave as three or more days when both day-time and night-time temperatures are unusually high in relation to the long-term average and recent climate.

Considering the recent cold weather, most Australians will not yet be acclimatised for summer and the upcoming burst of heat will certainly make for uncomfortable conditions.

When the heat will arrive?

It is already warm across Western Australia and will become hot this weekend when southern inland regions will swelter through a Christmas Day above 40 degrees Celsius. 

Hot, dry northerly winds will then descend over South Australia and Victoria from December 25 to December 28, sending temperatures as much as 15C above average.

Compared to the wintry weather of the past few weeks the sudden turnaround could feel quite extreme.

Adelaide was shivering in temperatures as low as 8C earlier this month but will swelter in maximums above 40C during the post-Christmas heatwave peak. 

The same northerly winds which could lead to a Sydney to Hobart race record, will also bring a scorching Boxing Day Test to the MCG, as Melbourne suburbs potentially exceed 35C on two consecutive days.

Across Australia’s southern inland away from the cooling influence of the sea, temperatures could even approach 45C as early as Tuesday. 

Relief will arrive for South Australia and Victoria in the form of cool southerly winds around December 28, although this far out it would be a futile exercise trying to predict the exact timing of the change. Heatwave forecast across southern Australia

Will Sydney finally reach 30C?

For NSW, the far west will hit 40C by Boxing Day, but the hottest air will not reach central and eastern districts until December 28 or 29. 

Newly arrived Sydneysiders expecting a sunny, warm city would be forgiven for being a touch disappointed by the weather through 2022.

Not only has it been Sydney’s wettest year on record but also the only year since data collection began in 1858 without one day above 32C.

There’s no guarantee Sydney will reach 32C next week due to afternoon sea breezes, however there is a good chance the thermometer will crack 30C for the first time since February.

Fire and heat-related illness threat to increase

While the risk of major bushfires is still relatively low after the wet spring, the situation is reversed for grasslands which only take a few weeks of dry weather to become highly combustible.

Throw in heat and strengthening winds and you have all the ingredients for fast-moving, difficult-to-control fires.

High fire dangers are predicted by Christmas Day in South Australia and extreme fire dangers should follow as the combination of 40C heat, fresh winds, and humidity down to 20 per cent leads to fast-moving fires which will spread quickly.

Elevated fire dangers are also likely in Victoria, especially for grassland regions north of the ranges. 

Summer bushfire forecast shows above average fire potential for grassland regions of inland Australia.(AFAC)none

Heatwaves have been called the “silent killer” as heat-related illnesses are responsible for more fatalities than any other natural disaster.

According to Doctors for Environment Australia the heatwave preceding the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 killed more than double the number of people than the actual fires.

Overheating can lead to heat stress, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke but simple steps can be taken to avoid illness during a heatwave including drinking cool water, wearing loose, light clothing and staying indoors where there is air conditioning.The three-month outlook indicates warmer-than-average maximums likely across Australia(Bureau of Meteorology)none

Business as usual summer developing

After the record-cold start to December, it would be easy to write off summer, but normality has now resumed as climate drivers settle back to neutral.

Even La Nina, the last of the rainmakers remaining is showing signs of finishing up in January, well before an average La Nina breaks down in autumn.

The Bureau is even predicting a warmer-than-normal first three months of 2023 for most of Australia apart from NSW.


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