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Heatwave to hit as fire alert levels rise

Michael Weaver 19 November 2019
Heatwave expected this week

Heatwave conditions are expected until the end of the week. Photo: File.

The Canberra region is about to get its first wave of summer this week, with five days of temperatures in the mid-to-high 30s causing authorities to raise bushfire alert levels once again.

With the official start of summer still two weeks away, a maximum temperature of 38 degrees celsius has been forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology for this Thursday.

Senior meteorologist Grace Legge said the heat will be entering South Australia on Wednesday, which will combine with strong northerly winds.

“This will lead to elevated fire dangers through much of the state where we could see November temperature records broken,” Ms Legge said.

“As the heat moves over eastern Australia, Victoria is likely to see a spike in temperatures before a cool change moves through.

“For New South Wales and southern Queensland, this heat is going to be sitting over the area, which unfortunately is leading to an area of severe heatwave conditions which will continue through the week and into the weekend.”

The record November temperature for Canberra is 39.9 degrees, recorded on 20 November 2009. The November average temperature is 23 degrees, with 58 mm of rain.

Canberrans who are vulnerable to heat stress have been warned to take precautions. ACT Health says heat-related stress can occur on normal summer days, but the risk of developing heat-related stress increases dramatically if the average temperature meets or exceeds 28 degrees.

The BOM also issued a fire weather warning today (19 November) for hot and dry westerly winds that will generate elevated fire danger over eastern and central parts of New South Wales.

Unfortunately, the forecast doesn’t show the likelihood of thunderstorms developing.

The forecast temperature in Canberra is 32 on Wednesday, 38 on Thursday, 35 on Friday and 33 on Saturday. A forecast of 29 degrees will be welcomed on Sunday.

A severe fire danger has also been forecast for the Hunter, Sydney, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Southern Ranges and Central Ranges.

The Southern Ranges area is also under a total fire ban. This includes the Goulburn-Mulwaree, Upper Lachlan, Yass Valley and Queanbeyan-Palerang shires.

The total fire ban comes as the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council declared that water restrictions will be in place for residents in Braidwood and Bungendore from this Friday.


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