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The heat is on across Australia

In 2019, Nullarbor in South Australia, reached the scorching temperature of 49.9C - the highest December temperature on record in Australia. This week, there's a chance that record could fall.

Wednesday's temperatures show extreme heat throughout inland areas of Australia (image via WeatherWatch)

A Widespread wave of heat has been affecting the interior since Monday, with widespread temperatures in the 40s heat throughout northwest WA and the NT, SA areas away from coast, southwest QLD and western NSW. This heat is expected to affect similar areas until at least Friday, and for many, it will be the most intense heatwave they have experienced since December 2019.

Much of the heat will affect inland areas, with some inland areas in SA forecast to receive scorching temperatures. Tarcoola will see 5 consecutive days of heat in the low to mid 40s, while areas within a 100km radius of the town could see the mercury reach 50c on Wednesday or Friday, however due to the remote location these temperatures may not be registered by an automated weather station.

Onshore winds will keep the worst of the heat away from coastal areas, with Adelaide predicted to receive temperatures in the low 30s throughout the week. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued Heatwave Warnings for all states and territories except Victoria and Tasmania at this stage.

The image shows areas of expected heat waves on a map of Australia

Heatwave Forecast from Bureau of Meteorology for 5 December - 7 December (image via BoM)

A front over SA will cool the area from the weekend and potentially bring significant rainfall, as well as pushing the heat east, focusing over NSW and western QLD. 

On Saturday, western Sydney could see heat in the low 40s, and the upper Hunter and wider western NSW in the mid 40. A cooler change will cause the heat to contract inland on Sunday, with the mid 40s heat persisting over inland NSW. There are also indications of this heat becoming even more widespread over the eastern states into next week, including into VIC and TAS.

Temperatures across Australia will remain high across the week (image via Windy.com)

To prepare for heatwaves, it's crucial to stay informed about local weather forecasts and heat alerts. Early Warning Network provides businesses and organisations with severe weather forecasting and alerts, including for heatwaves. 

Ensure your home and business is well-ventilated and, if possible, air-conditioned. It's vital to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, even if you don't feel thirsty, and avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine as these can dehydrate your body.

Wear lightweight, light-coloured, and loose-fitting clothing to help keep cool. Plan your day to avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day, usually between 10 AM and 4 PM. Check on vulnerable individuals, like the elderly, children, and pets, to ensure they are coping well with the heat. These steps can significantly increase comfort and safety during a heatwave.

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