Weekend heatwave tipped to deliver summer’s first scorchers

Sydney is set to sizzle this weekend as a severe heatwave sets in, with temperatures in parts of NSW forecast to soar above 40C.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of a severe heatwave for NSW and parts of inland Australia, forecasting temperatures between 15 to 18 degrees above the November average.

Bureau meteorologist Helen Kirkup said the heatwave was the result of a build-up over Central Australia which will be swept into NSW, with a warm low 30s day on Friday lighting the coals for high 30s on Saturday and a scorcher on Sunday.

“On Saturday the heat will push through from the west … Sunday will be worst, the westerly heat will dominate the city, we’re expecting 33 on Saturday but 39 on Sunday in the CBD,” Ms Kirkup said.

“It won’t drop much overnight. We could see up to 25C overnight on Saturday … it’s going to be hot, right across the board.”

The sun rises ahead of a scorching hot weekend in Syydney.
Camera IconThe sun rises ahead of a scorching hot weekend in Syydney. Credit: News Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire/Dylan Coker

Penrith is forecast to reach 40C, while Richmond, Cronulla, Liverpool and Gosford will hit 41C and Newcastle a stinking hot 43C

Ms Kirkup said while a heatwave was not unusual for late November, the weekend’s high temperatures could be record breaking.

“Towards the end of November we get high temperatures usually but these are borderline in terms of extreme,” she said.

Areas of the NSW Mid-North Coast, the Hunter and Sydney are likely to be close to record temperatures for this time of year, especially on Saturday night.

Around the state, northwestern town Tibooburra will see the highest temperatures with 45C, with similar heat expected in Bourke, Cobar and Broken Hill, while the Hunter can expect 42C in Newcastle, Cessnock and surrounds.

Surf lifesavers have urged beachgoers heading to the coast to pick a patrolled beach.

Joel Wiseman, Director of Lifesaving at Surf Life Saving NSW said already there had been 15 coastal and ocean drowning deaths since July 1, and 49 in total during the 2019/20 season on the state’s coastline — higher than the 16-year average of 42.

“Last week’s drowning tragedy at Woonona Beach near Wollongong is a sad reminder to everyone of the importance of swimming at patrolled beaches, during patrol hours,” he said.

“At the end of a great day on the beach, we want everyone to go home to their families. Swimming between the flags is the simplest step you can take to ensuring that happens.”

Despite a southerly buster set to bring milder temperatures from Sunday evening, Rural Fire Service Inspector Ben Shepherd warned of high or severe fire danger for broad areas of the NSW across the weekend and into the week.

Insp Shepherd cautioned residents across NSW not to become complacent.

“As the heatwave takes effect, on Saturday the risk will be towards the west of the ranges in areas of the Riverina but on Sunday there will likely be severe fire danger for Sydney, the Hunter, Mid Coast and Illawarra,” Insp Shepherd said.

“There’s a really high risk (of bushfires) on Sunday, in those western grasslands and in areas of bush which did not burn last year, so people need to stay alert in this warm, dry and windy weather.”

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