24.9°C 03:00 pm

HEAT WAVE

Friday, 28th December, 2018

Back from left: Felix and Nina Schultz came from Melbourne for Christmas to visit their family which included cousins, Braxton (back right), Livia and Harrison Morris (front). PICTURE: Emily Ferguson Back from left: Felix and Nina Schultz came from Melbourne for Christmas to visit their family which included cousins, Braxton (back right), Livia and Harrison Morris (front). PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

By By Emily McInerney

Broken Hill is headed towards sweltering 40 degree weather for the rest of the week and the start of next week, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The unusually hot December has provided little respite for locals with above average daytime and night-time temperatures.

The heat is being caused by two high pressure systems, one from the Great Australian Bight and the other from the Tasman Sea.

A broad area stretching across much of southern Australia is set to experience the hot weather, with temperatures generally 10 to 14 degrees higher than usual for this time of year. 

People have been urged to drink plenty of water, avoid travelling during the hottest parts of the day and to look after those most vulnerable to the heat.

“It’s not moving very fast and that is what is preventing any cold fronts from coming in,” a BoM spokesman said.

“The hot air is not moving and it is getting baked by the sun.”

A weak trough between the two systems is drawing air over Broken Hill.

“From time to time there will be mild changes, but for the next week Broken Hill’s temperatures will be in the low to mid 40 degrees.

“On New Year’s Eve, temperatures will be 37 to 38 degrees with a weak change but it won’t take a long time to climb back.”

He said the heat feels worse than usual because minimum temperatures are high.

“Overnight the minimum temperatures have been really warm,” he said.

“Normally it cools down and you can stand it but the minimums are reaching 30 degrees and it makes recovery difficult.”

The temperatures are above average with more days over 40 degrees than in previous years.

On average in December, Broken Hill receives 1.4 days of above 40-degree temperatures.

“Seeing this kind of heat, is certainly unusual. Days above 35 degrees are common but above 40 degrees is rare.”

The highest ever recorded temperature in Broken Hill in December was 44.2 degrees, but the bureau isn’t forecasting a record in the current heat wave.

“The night time temperature average is 17 degrees but tonight we can expect the minimum to be 30 degrees,” the spokesman said.

“It is definitely up there in terms of being unusually hot.”

Fire bans have been declared across parts of Australia, as the heatwave sweeps across most of the country.

The Bureau spokesman said the long term outlook isn’t looking good.

“The three month outlook for most of Australia and certainly Broken Hill is that there are higher than normal daytime and night time temperatures.

“There is no significant rain forecast. There are pretty dry conditions.”

While Broken Hill only reached 42 yesterday, Ivanhoe, Menindee and Wentworth hit 44 degrees and Balranald hit 43 degrees.

Tomorrow will see a top of 43 degrees in the city, followed by 41 degrees on Sunday.

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