Extreme heat baking Australia's southeast

Angus McLean-Smith, 6 January 2018

Currently the southeastern States of Australia are experiencing sweltering conditions. This heat is being fed down from the central interior with a trough and moderate-to-strong N/NW winds. These conditions have resulted in Total Fire Bans across the whole of South Australia and Victoria and a large proportion of Tasmania today.

The hot conditions began in South Australia on Friday with Adelaide hitting a top of 38 degrees, and only cooling to 29 degrees around midnight, before it began to heat up again. By 9am this morning Adelaide had already reached 35 degrees and by 1pm had already reached the low 40s. Other parts of South Australia look to be even hotter with a top of 46 degrees likely for Port Augusta and 47 degrees for Marree. A cool change is expected in the afternoon as winds turn more southwesterly.

Melbourne was heating up yesterday but not quite to the extent of Adelaide, as it hit a top of 31 degrees and dropped below 20 degrees overnight. Today will see further heating, right the way up to a scorching 42 degrees, by 9am Melbourne was already above 30 degrees. Northern and western Victoria will see even hotter temperatures today, with Mildura set to reach 45 degrees and Horsham 44 degrees. In Melbourne temperatures will peak in the late afternoon before rapidly dropping in the evening, with a cool change bringing relief.

Even Tasmania will not be spared from this widespread heat with Hobart likely to reach 34 degrees today. The odd light shower today as well as gusty winds, will see Hobart getting the full spectrum of weather conditions, before a cool change sets in this evening.

In New South Wales, western regions can expect to see temperatures in the mid 40s today, like Griffith set to reach 43 degrees and White Cliffs 45 degrees. Further east conditions are not quite as hot, however Canberra looks to get to 38 degrees and parts of Sydney's west 42 degrees. Eastern parts of Sydney will be spared this heat, with temperatures expected to be around 30, due to a cooling sea breeze. Clear conditions today should allow for a full games play today at the SCG for the final test of the ashes. Tomorrow is likely to be very hot with a maximum of 38 degrees expected for Sydney and a sweltering 45 degrees in parts of western Sydney.

In almost direct contrast, across the other side of the world, northern parts of the USA are experiencing widespread freezing conditions. With Champaign, Illinois getting as low as -25 degrees tonight, and only reaching -12 degrees tomorrow. Anyone who has recently traveled from southeastern Australia to northern USA is in for quite the shock.

- Weatherzone

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