Australia, including every state and territory, at least in part, is likely to face a heatwave in the coming days as scorching early summer weather bakes the country. A break in the monsoon has allowed sweltering air to build up in the Pilbara which is heading across Western Australia and the Northern Territory to the nation’s east with major cities in its sights. “For Melbourne and also Penrith, it’s likely to be the hottest weather we’ve seen so far this summer as this heat slides on through,” Sky News Weather meteorologist Rob Sharpe said.
That could mean the mercury surpassing 40C (104F) in parts of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria on the weekend. Or even 50C (122F) in the Pilbara itself. Hobart and Canberra could also see heatwave conditions and Adelaide won’t be far off. And forecasters have warned, that although there could be a slight cool change to round out the weekend, the blistering heat is in no mood to completely dissipate and may ramp up again early next week.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned Thursday to Monday could see the most widespread heatwaves across Australia. It defines a heatwave as three days when the maximum and the minimum temperatures are “unusually hot”. A severe to extreme heatwave will cover much of Western Australia but should bypass Perth and the southwest. 50C-plus possible in WA Broome is expected to see between 34-35C every day for the next week. Website Weatherzone said a 50C temperature could be reached on Friday or Saturday in the Pilbara. In February, this has only been recorded once before when Mardie, 135km south of Karratha, reached 50.5C (123F) in 1998.