Australia weather forecast: Heatwave grips WA, NT, Qld before ‘hotter than usual’ summer

A severe to extreme heatwave will spread across northern Australia this week.

It comes as the season outlook shows above average temperatures are expected for much of the country in the first three months of the new year.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned maximum temperatures will be 4C to 8C above average this week across northern Australia.

Heatwave warning maps show just how widespread the “dangerous” conditions will be.

BOM advises Australians to find a place to keep cool, which may be a library, community centre or shopping centre, if not your home.

“Close your windows and draw blinds, curtains or awnings early in the day to keep the heat out of your home,” the warning reads.

Marble Bar in Western Australia’s Pilbara region – known as the hottest town in the country – is forecast to reach 45C on Monday, which Sky Weather meteorologist Rob Sharpe said is the first time 45C has been recorded this late in the season since 1999.

The town is forecast to hit a top of 46C on Wednesday.

“It’s been a slow build up for the heat but for Queensland a heatwave is well and truly building up and it will be peaking late this week,” Mr Sharpe said.

He explained the heat in the west would travel east and Brisbane could hit 35C on Tuesday. He described the heat across the state as “pretty nasty”.

BOM is forecasting a top of 34C for Brisbane on Wednesday and Thursday before dropping to 26C on Friday and 24C on Saturday.

Mount Isa in North West Queensland, where an extreme heatwave warning is active, is expected to reach 44C on Friday.

Darwin is looking at 35C each day for the rest of the week.

Down south, a cool change came through overnight dropping temperatures by 10C to 15C in some locations.

Melbourne’s Olympic Park weather station recorded 33.6C at 4.30pm on Sunday, but the city is expected to reach just 19C on Monday.

Adelaide’s West Terrace weather station recorded 35.1C at 12.30pm Sunday, but the city is expected to have a cooler top of 24C on Monday.

Sydney is forecast to reach 29C, but Mr Sharpe said a southerly change running up the coast would drop temperatures by Tuesday. A high of 25C is forecast for the city that day.

It is expected to reach 28C on Wednesday before another southerly change will drop the temperatures again to the low 20s.

Hot start to 2023

Much of Australia is expecting “hotter than usual” temperatures from January to March.

Looking at the seasonal outlook, Mr Sharpe explained this was likely through the north, the centre, the west and “all the way down into the south of the country”.

“So the back-end of summer into the start of autumn looks to be pretty hot,” he said.

He said “cooler than usual” temperatures were expected to be restricted to the east coast, as shown by the blue on the map above.

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