Heatwave and strong winds increase fire danger for southern Australia
High temperatures are forecast across southern Australia today and tomorrow, with strong winds contributing to challenging weather conditions for fire fighters.
Bureau of Meteorology Assistant Director for Hazard Prediction, Alasdair Hainsworth, says the Bureau is forecasting a widespread heatwave with temperatures in the high-30s and low-40s.
“Heat has been building up over central Australia during the week, and is being pushed down across southern Australia by northerly winds,” Mr Hainsworth said.
“The worst conditions are concentrated in South Australia and Victoria. This build-up of heat, combined with gusty winds associated with several wind changes, will present very challenging conditions for fire fighters for any fires that may break out.
“Fire danger ratings are in the Severe to Extreme range across several states, with some areas of Catastrophic in South Australia. The public is urged to check with their state fire agencies’ websites for advice and emergency warnings specific for their local area.
"A cool change is forecast to move through South Australia and Victoria tomorrow, which will bring some relief from the heat following the change, but unfortunately this will also present challenges for fire fighters with gusty winds during and following the passage of this front,” he said.
While this heatwave is not at the highest intensity we have seen, it is widespread – with temperatures in the high-30s and low 40s.
“Holidaymakers are urged to be mindful of the weather conditions in making travel plans, and visit the Bureau’s website for detailed forecast information for your local area,” said Mr Hainsworth.
Forecast temperature maps (MetEye) www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye
For the Heatwave Forecast Service go to www.bom.gov.au/australia/heatwave/index.shtml