Home asia Australia swelters in spring heatwave, temperatures set to break records

Australia swelters in spring heatwave, temperatures set to break records

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Australia swelters in spring heatwave, temperatures set to break records

SYDNEY – A spring heatwave across large parts of Australia’s south-east, including Sydney, will intensify on Monday, the weather bureau said, with temperatures expected to peak up to 16 deg C above the September average.

Australia is baking through a rising heatwave which has been building in the country’s outback interior over the weekend and is likely to last until Wednesday across the states of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

The Bureau of Meteorology said it expected several early spring records were likely to be broken over the next few days, calling the heat “very uncommon for September”.

“A reprieve from the heat is not expected until Wednesday onwards, as a stronger cold front crosses the south-eastern states,” the weather bureau said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

The heat took its toll on runners in the Sydney marathon on Sunday, with 26 people taken to the hospital and about 40 treated for heat exhaustion by emergency services.

Temperatures in Sydney’s west are expected to hit 36 deg C on Monday before dropping to about 22 deg C on Thursday, the weather bureau forecasts showed.

The heatwave has also elevated the risks of fires, with several regions given “high” fire danger ratings, and the authorities urging residents to prepare for bush fires. About 50 grass or bush fires are burning across New South Wales, but all have been brought under control.

Australia is bracing itself for a hotter Southern Hemisphere spring and summer in 2023 after the possibility of an El Nino strengthened, and the weather forecaster said the weather event could likely develop between September and November.

El Nino can prompt extreme weather events from wildfires to cyclones and droughts in Australia, with the authorities already warning of heightened bush fire risks this summer.

A thick smoke haze shrouded Sydney for several days last week as firefighters carried out hazard reduction burns to prepare for the looming bush fire season. REUTERS

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