The sort of temperatures that see roads melt and cold taps flowing with boiling water are set to scorch Sydney and northern New South Wales over the next few days with the weather bureau officially forecasting a rare “extreme heatwave”.
There are total fire bans in place for Sydney, the Hunter Valley, Northern Slopes and north-western parts of the state and the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) is warning strong, gusty winds in the north-west could whip up any fires.
The RFS director of operations Rob Rogers tweeted some strongly-worded warnings about the dangers: “Any drop kick that drops a lit cigarette today in a total fire ban area can be fined $1,320.” The RFS is warning people not to light camp fires on the sides of roads.
“If you’ve got a camp fire going – you’re an idiot,” Inspector Bill Britt from Far West NSW RFS said. “Just don’t bloody do it.”
“Because if we catch you you’re going to get fined and if you start a fire and cause a problem and we can trace it back to them -we’ll come down hard on them,” he said.
A range of temperatures was forecast for Sydney today, with Bondi expected to get a moderate 30 degrees Celsius while Penrith in the city’s western reaches could see the mercury 10 degrees higher to a hot 40C. Sure, head to the beach to cool down, but make sure it is not for long as the UV index is expected to reach extreme levels in Sydney and other parts of the state
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said a low pressure trough had created a pool of warm air but temperatures were expected to drop by about 10 degrees next week.
Duty forecaster Katarina Kovacevic said the dry conditions should linger throughout summer: “It looks like at least on Tuesday that we could see a little bit of cooler air coming across the north east of the state, so a potential easing of conditions in the early part of the new week.”
Southern and central Queensland are also bracing for an extreme heatwave, with the temperature in outback parts predicted to hit 46C as early as today.
BOM said it would be cooler in coastal areas with the mercury forecast to stay in the 30s.
Make sure your pets have plenty of shade and enough cool water to last the entire day.
Putting ice cubes in their bowl will help keep their water cool for longer.
Check on them regularly. Don’t leave children or pets in parked vehicles. Ever. For any period of time.