Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

RSS Subscribe to email

WEATHER UPDATE: Heat across southern and eastern Australia



A short, sharp burst of extreme heat moving into populated areas of southern and eastern Australia for the next couple of days could break all-time January maximum temperature records in some places.

The heat will come along with dangerous fire conditions, with fire authorities having declared total fire bans for parts of South Australia today and Friday, and also on Friday for all of Victoria and parts of Tasmania.

This pool of heat has been building over central and northwest Australia for the best part of a week or two now – on the 27th of December we saw 49.3 degrees at Marble Bar in the Pilbara, which was an all-time record at what's already one of the hottest towns in Australia.

As this high builds in the Tasman Sea—and we'll have a front approaching from the west as well—all of that heat is going to get funnelled down in gusty northerly winds towards the south over the next couple of days.

The heat is already into South Australia today, with 49 degrees on the forecast for the remote community of Oak Valley, and maximums of 45 or 46 extending down towards the west coast.

Across in Adelaide it's 41 on the forecast for later this afternoon.

On Friday the peak of the heat will move into Victoria, Tasmania, southern New South Wales and the ACT.

Maximums across Victoria will be broadly around 10 to 16 degrees above average for January, pushing well into the 40s.

For some locations, we're forecasting all-time January record tops, including 45 at Shepparton and 46 at Swan Hill.

The exception to the heat will be in the far southwest of the state where that change will push through early in the morning, which means the maximums will be kept down to the high 20s in places like Portland and Warrnambool.

With the change arriving later in the day in Melbourne we should see a top of 42 degrees, which is a maximum we see around once every 3 to 5 years in the city, and the hottest it will have been since the 13th of January 2016.

For Tasmania we'll see a State-wide maximum of 39 degrees at both Campania and Brighton, and 36 in Hobart, ahead of the cool change later in the day.

Up in the ACT it's 37 degrees for Canberra on Friday, and then the heat will last into the weekend for eastern New South Wales, where western Sydney and areas of the Hunter Valley will see maximums up in the high 30s or even towards 40 or 41 degrees on Saturday.

So, stay cool, hydrated and check on your loved ones as the heat hits over the next few days. Check back with Bureau forecast and fire weather warnings on our website, and follow all advice from State and Territory fire authorities.