Mercury to surge past 40C across parts of NSW as emergency services battle 49 blazes and warn Sunday’s conditions will be ‘as bad as it gets’. Follow all the developments as they happen
The heatwave is already causing the records to tumble. Here are just a few:
An overnight minimum of 34.2 degrees (!) at White Cliffs is a new statewide record highest minimum for any month.
Bureau of Meteorology acting NSW regional director, Stephen Lellyett, has just outlined the factors that have contributed to dangerous fire conditions across the state. They are:
. acting Regional Director Stephen Lellyett joins NSW emergency services to brief media on the conditions
Here’s a map of tomorrow’s fire conditions across NSW. Catastrophic areas include NSW’s north western region, the central ranges, and the greater hunter.
Sunday: Catastrophic fire danger for Greater Hunter, Central Ranges and North Western areas. Severe, Extreme in many areas.
The latest statistics on fires in NSW:
To give you an idea of just how dangerous tomorrow’s conditions are in NSW, here are some concerning facts:
The NSW RFS commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, has described tomorrow’s fire conditions as unprecedented, awful, and “as bad as it gets”. He has just held a press conference to urge residents to take care, seek shelter, and to avoid potentially dangerous areas.
BOM Acting NSW Regional Director Stephen Lellyett briefing and HQ on conditions.
The NSW rural fire service is responding to a fire in Leadville, to the east of Dubbo. Extra crews have been deployed in an attempt to contain the blaze. The fire is visible from the Golden Highway, which runs between the Hunter Valley and Dubbo. The RFS says no homes are under threat.
Sire Ivan Fire : Extra crews responding. No current property threats. Fire visible from Golden Hwy.
A large air tanker has been sent to assist crews fighting a grass fire at Sir Ivan Doherty Dr , near Dunedoo.
The weekend’s heatwave is centred around the Hunter Valley. Temperatures at Maitland airport have already reached 41.9C , Singleton has hit 46C, and it’s 37.8C at Lake Macquarie. The area has a catastrophic fire danger rating. The heat has been enough to drive some Hunter residents, including former NSW police detective Peter Fox, south to cooler climates.
47°today at home in the Hunter Valley. Today we've escaped to the much cooler & beautiful
Extreme temps being experienced in my Hunter valley hometown today
The temperatures in Wollongong are forecast to hit 35C today, and the mercury is currently hovering around 27.9C. It’s far cooler on the coast than inland NSW, but the heat was enough to prompt these children to head down to the Austinmere Ocean baths to cool down this morning.
The NSW Rural Fire Service has stood up additional crews to deal with the catastrophic fire conditions across the state this weekend. The commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, said firefighters were bracing for “some of the worst possible conditions across NSW this weekend”. “Today we will see large areas dominated by severe fire danger ratings, that’s particularly from the central west areas of NSW, back in along the ranges, the southern ranges, the central ranges, and then right across out the greater Hunter region. That’s what we’ve got to get through today,” he said.
Additional crews on standby for quick response to bush fires in remote areas where possible. Report any fires to 000.
The A-league clash between the Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory has been called off due to the heat. It was due to kick off at 5.35pm this evening in Newcastle. The match has been moved to Monday night. A-League head, Greg O’Rourke, said the soaring temperatures across NSW left officials with no choice.
BREAKING: moves v clash due to heat -
Birdsville, a small town in outback Queensland, has again sweltered through a 40C day. The mercury had already hit 42C by midday. Birdsville has seen temperatures above 40C every day this year bar five. Ben Fullagar, manager of the historic Birdsville pub, told Guardian Australia this week that he’s become used to the heat in the past four years.
The NSW rural fire service is warning that conditions will worsen on Sunday. High temperatures, strong winds and low humidity have combined to create severe fire danger in many areas across the state. “On Sunday, the conditions will worsen. Large areas will experience severe and extreme fire danger,” the .
Dangerous conditions have forced the closure of several beaches in southern Queensland, denying swimmers a respite from the heat. Unstable conditions have forced the closure of Nobby, Pacific and Mermaid beaches on the Gold Coast as well as Maroochydore, Twin Waters and Wurtulla beaches on the Sunshine Coast.
This just seems utterly implausible from where I’m sitting in Sydney right now. While the rest of the nation sweats through the weekend, Tasmania is expecting snow. Yes, snow. Surely they’re trolling us?
No Tasmanian summer would be complete without snow! A smidgeon of the white stuff is expected to fall on the high peaks tomorrow afternoon
The rain in Western Australia has prompted flood warnings for parts of the state’s goldfields midlands. Towns in the Northam, Beverley, York and Toodyay districts are at risk of flooding over the coming days but Emergency WA says there is no immediate danger. Heavy rain was earlier forecast for parts of the Great Southern region, with an emergency warning issued for residents south of Hyden and Narrogin and down to the coast.
Take action now for possible flooding in parts of the Goldfields Midlands including Northam, Beverley, York...
Who would have thought? A flood boat in in February: jokes aside, don't take risks or engage in extreme sports on the river
Time for a midday weather check around the country. Temperatures are ranging between 31C and 36C in various parts of Sydney. It’s 31.3C at the airport, 34.2C in Bankstown, and 35.7 in Richmond, in the far north-west of the city. In NSW’s west, the temperatures are searing. Broken Hill has hit 42C, and West Wyalong is 44.1C.
In Canberra, the mercury has already hit 34C. Firefighters were on hand to bring kids running in little athletics sweet relief this morning.
What legends! The are hosing down the kids at Little A's! Everyone drenched, cool and very happy
Meanwhile, the UK is bracing for weather of an entirely different nature, facing its coldest temperatures of the winter this weekend. Dumps of up to 10cm of snow are expected in some areas, and the mercury will hover just above freezing in much of the country. With temperatures reaching 32C in Sydney by 11.30am, the UK’s weather is starting to look rather appealing. The grass is always greener, I suppose.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) issued a statement late last night on the “tight supply conditions” in NSW and the ACT on Friday evening. It confirmed that residential load shedding was not required at any point in NSW. AEMO said that was predominantly due to reduced electricity consumption across the state. It also thanked the aluminium smelter, Tomago, for shutting off its three potlines for a period late on Friday afternoon to reduce its electricity usage.
NSW Health has issued a warning about high pollution levels predicted for Sydney during the heatwave. People with asthma and other respiratory conditions have been urged to take caution and restrict outside activity. NSW Health’s environmental health branch director, Ben Scalley, said parents should limit outside play for children with asthma. “Ozone levels reach their peak about 7 in the evening and tend to be lowest in the morning, so it’s best to plan outdoor play in the morning when the day is cooler,” Dr Scalley said.
NSW is set for three days of sweltering heat. Here are four simple steps to help you beat the heat during a .
In 2013, the Bureau of Meteorology was , deep purple and pink, to the scale for its heat maps, which had previously been capped at 50C. As the United Nations’ climate change secretariat noted on Friday afternoon, the new colours are currently getting quite the workout.
A few years ago, added purple to weather maps to reflect extreme heat. That color is now required (temps in °C)
The extreme heat can take a toll on Australia’s native fauna, as evidenced by this thirsty koala found by Alison McMeekin in Adelaide yesterday.
Heading home from work, came across this thirsty fella searching for water in Adelaide's roasting n'east...
Craig Burke of the Bureau of Meteorology has warned of “extreme heat” through Sydney’s western suburbs, where temperatures of 45C are expected. Further inland, temperatures will reach up to 47C. But he had some better news for South Australians. “We’re still seeing a large part of the eastern half of Australia that’s going to be extremely hot, the good news is though, in South Australia we are seeing a bit of a change start to push through from the southern coast,” Burke told the ABC.
Craig Burke from the says it will be some time before we see any reprieve from extreme conditions lashing .
Meanwhile, in Western Australia’s south, heavy rain could damage homes and make travel in parts of the state’s great southern region dangerous. A severe weather warning has been issued for residents south of Hyden and Narrogin, and wild conditions expected down to the coast. The warning area includes residents in the Lake Grace, Lake King, Ravensthorpe and Jerramungup areas.
Take action with sever weather including heavy rainfall coming in parts of the Great Southern
The mercury is already soaring in many major cities, and it’s not even 11am. Here’s a quick check of the temperatures across the country:
Good morning, Welcome to the second day of Guardian Australia’s rolling coverage of the heatwave affecting much of the country’s south-east. Temperatures are set to reach above 40C across New South Wales, South Australia and the ACT. The prolonged heat is causing havoc across NSW, where firefighters are currently battling 45 separate fires. Junior sports have been called off, horse racing at Randwick delayed, and total fire bans issued.