Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

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Heat continues across southern, eastern and western Australia as monsoonal weather impacts the tropical north


Issued: Friday 17 February 2023

Heatwave conditions across Australia:

Low to severe heatwave conditions continue across much of Australia, from Western Australia to south-eastern states, today and into the weekend.

Heatwave Warnings are current for much of Western Australia, parts of South Australia and New South Wales, while a Fire Weather Warning is current for Victoria including Melbourne.

Temperatures are expected to remain 6 -12C above average, climbing into the high 30s and low 40s and not dropping below 20C overnight.

Victoria will likely reach its peak heat today. Melbourne is expecting a maximum temperature near 40C on Friday before a cool change moves through Victoria and south-western New South Wales.

Dry thunderstorms are possible across Victoria today associated with the cool change.

Severe thunderstorms are possible across central and eastern New South Wales on the weekend.

Northern and eastern New South Wales, northern South Australia and southern Queensland will remain largely unaffected by this cool change, with low to severe intensity heatwave conditions continuing into the weekend and early next week.

In Western Australia, a Heatwave Warning is current for much of the inland areas of the state, including across the Pilbara region and North Interior district from Friday. High to Extreme Fire Dangers are current, with Fire Weather Warnings expected to be issued.

Maximum temperatures are expected to remain in the low-to-mid 40s until early next week in inland and northern Western Australia, with localised and remote areas possibly reaching 45 - 48C.

Isolated thunderstorms are also possible around the Kimberley coast and Pilbara with Damaging Winds a particular risk.

Monsoon conditions in the tropical north:

An active monsoon and tropical low over Gulf Waters are causing widespread heavy rain and thunderstorms in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Cape York Peninsula and north Tropical Coast.

Some of the highest rainfall totals in the region in the 24 hours to 9am Friday include:

- 304mm at Daintree Village, Qld
- 260mm at Bucklands, Qld
- 248mm at Garradunga, Qld
- 233mm at Saltwater Creek, Qld
- 220mm at Clyde Rd, Qld
- 207mm Mcavoy Bridge, Qld

A Severe Weather Warning for Heavy Rainfall is current for the Gulf Country and Cape York Peninsula, with 6-hourly rainfall totals of 80-130 mm possible.

This additional rain is expected to pose a significant risk of further flash and riverine flooding. Minor to Moderate Flood Warnings are current in western Queensland and the Gulf Country.

Cooler conditions are expected well into next week with this rain, with maximum temperatures largely 6 -12C below average, and up to 16C below average in northwest Queensland.

The tropical low near the Gulf of Carpentaria is forecast to slowly move southward and coincide with the monsoon trough over Cape York Peninsula.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms will likely extend further south and west into western Queensland and eastern parts of the Northern Territory, posing further flooding risks to communities.

Communities should stay up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings via our website and BOM Weather app and follow the advice of emergency services.