Rural Fire Service perform property protection as the Colo fire advances through the bush at Colo Heights. Picture Rohan Kelly.
Rural Fire Service perform property protection as the Colo fire advances through the bush at Colo Heights. Picture Rohan Kelly.

‘Horrendous’ days of weather ahead

STRAP in, it’s going to be a “horrendous” couple of days of hot weather across eastern and southern Australia.

Temperatures will climb to 37C in Gympie tomorrow and the fire danger rating will rise from high today to very high for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews remain on scene at the bushfire burning at Black Snake. The fire is contained and there is no threat to property at this time.

Further south the mercury hit almost 40C in Sydney today and will top that tomorrow with a high of up to 43C in the suburbs of Adelaide and a catastrophic fire danger.

Every capital city will see days above 30C during the next week. Melbourne is set to top out in the mid-thirties while Canberra will see 38C.

“Temperatures are soaring in New South Wales as that front comes across the south. Ahead of it, westerly winds are dragging heat from the centre of the nation,” said Sky News Weather channel meteorologist Rob Sharpe.

Sydney’s CBD will get to 32C but as you go west the heat will only get more oppressive reaching 39C by the time you get to Penrith at the foot of the Blue Mountains.

Already the air quality is shockingly bad in the Sydney basin.

“In some parts (the air) is way beyond the threshold for being hazardous. In the city’s north west the air quality index reading was close to 900, anything above 200 is hazardous,” Mr Sharpe said.

For the Gympie region there is no real of sign of rain for the rest of the week, with a 10 per cent chance of something on the weekend and a 20 per cent chance on Monday.

The heat across Sydney is being fanned by gusty winds, which is elevating fire dangers to severe levels between the Illawarra and Hunter and inland to the central and southern ranges. Conditions are “very high”, one rung below severe, for the rest of the coast.

The cool change should come through this evening. It will bring more winds, which is bad news for firefighters, but it should make sleep more manageable. 17C overnight in Sydney with a more average high of 25C tomorrow.

Warm in Queensland with highs of 31C today and 32 tomorrow in Brisbane. Very high fire danger in the south east of the state as well as a band of inland areas up to Cape York.

Perth is looking at a pleasant 25C today and 21C tomorrow with the city possibly seeing some patches of rain. On the weekend the mercury will ramp up again back above the 30C mark.

South Australia is where all eyes will be focused on Wednesday. Today’s high of 30C will be nothing compared to the 42C tomorrow in the city and 43C in Elizabeth.

While Adelaide itself has a severe fire danger rating for Wednesday, every area around it will have a catastrophic rating. That’s the same as Sydney had last Tuesday which saw fires erupt in the suburbs.

“That is a horrendous day for fire weather in South Australia,” said Mr Sharpe.

But the cold front powering through will see a high of just 23C on Thursday in Adelaide, some 20 degrees cooler.

A cool high of just 19C today in Melbourne. And then tomorrow at least some of the hot weather from South Australia will make it to the Victorian capital with highs of 34C for two days on the trot. Conditions will then ease later in the week.

Similar temperatures in Hobart today. Then 23C tomorrow and 30C on a sunny Thursday but Tasmania could also see some showers.

The nation’s capital is getting hotter and hotter. Canberra might not see a day below 30C until Sunday with 32C today and tomorrow and then 38C on Thursday. Ratings of very high for fire danger are in place for the ACT this week.

A stormy week in Darwin with highs of 35C and overnights dropping to 27C.

Gympie Times


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