A spring heatwave that left large parts of SA, NSW and Victoria with maximum temperatures 10 to 15C above the September average has moved north.
Total fire bans, which were in place in parts of New South Wales, are now in place in parts of Queensland, as doctors warn residents to protect themselves from heat stroke.
“A cool change has reached Sydney thanks to southerly winds, but Queensland will be very hot on Thursday,” Weatherzone meteorologist Jess Miskelly told Daily Mail Australia.
Temperatures in Sydney were in the low to mid 30s yesterday, but the temperature dropped overnight and highs in the low 20s are forecast for the next few days.
“The hottest place in Sydney yesterday was around the airport at 35.7C, but across the city we are seeing a temperature drop of around 11C,” Ms Miskelly said.
The heatwave that has hit NSW over the last week is set to reach Queensland on Thursday, with doctors warning residents to protect themselves from the heat
Those in Brisbane on Thursday headed to Southbank to cool off in the heat
Sydneysiders flocked to Bondi (pictured) over the weekend as temperatures rose to 10C above the spring average
The chilly change will eventually hit Queensland too, but until then doctors have reminded locals the heat can be dangerous.
“We are getting patients with mild signs of heat stroke, which can be catastrophic.” “Heat stroke is not something to be taken lightly,” Gold Coast doctor Jane Wehipeihana told The Courier Mail.
“You stop sweating, your body temperature rises significantly, your skin is dry and red, and you may experience nausea and muscle cramps.”
“You can become irritable, delirious and have seizures.”
The west of the state will see the hottest temperatures, with Mt Isa, Julia Creek, Longreach and Doomadgee reaching highs of 40C.
In Brisbane, the mercury is expected to rise to the mid-30s on Thursday.
Brisbane’s Southbank, the city’s only beach, was crowded as the city experienced temperatures in the mid to high 30s Celsius
Sydney’s beaches were even more crowded over the weekend as locals tried to cool off
Australia has recorded one of the warmest winters on record and the spring average also looks high
“The cool change should arrive up there by this evening and it will cool down a bit over the weekend, with highs in the low 20s,” Ms Miskelly said.
“Rain showers are also expected to occur along the New South Wales coast this afternoon, impacting Sydney and possibly moving further north over the weekend.”
“There will be a few clouds in the morning and there will be frost around Canberra as it will freeze overnight.”
“And Adelaide and Melbourne will be cool over the next few days, although Adelaide could potentially warm to over 20C over the weekend.”
But Ms Miskelly said the weekend’s chilly change may be short-lived as spring is expected to be hot after the country has already recorded one of the hottest winters on record.
“The seasonal forecast is generally well above average, meaning the likelihood of further heatwaves is likely.”
The Bureau of Meteorology officially declared an El Nino weather event on Tuesday, bringing widespread hot, dry weather and increasing the risk of heat exhaustion and bushfires.
The elderly, babies, children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with illnesses and indisposition should be careful and stay away from the heat in hot weather.
Sweeping fire bans were in place in parts of NSW on Tuesday and Wednesday and will come into force in parts of Queensland on Thursday
Temperatures are expected to cool and remain mild across most of the country over the weekend
The cool change should reach Brisbane by Thursday evening and the weekend should be mild
Fire bans are in place for parts of Queensland as hot westerly winds develop on Thursday
Queensland’s fire chief said on Wednesday the fire season had started early as parts of the country “progressively dried out”.
“We will see on Thursday that many areas will be rated at the highest fire risk and some areas will be rated at the extreme fire risk,” Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Greg Leach told reporters.
He said authorities had yet to decide on a complete fire ban.
“It will really depend on what the weather conditions are on Thursday,” Mr Leach said.
High temperatures and a lot of dry vegetation were factors, but “many of these fires that we’re seeing right now are wind-driven fires.”
Speaking on Tuesday, before the Bureau of Meteorology officially declared an El Niño event, Mr Leach said the decision would have no impact on bushfire preparations in Queensland.
Commissioner and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan also said he is confident the state has enough volunteer firefighters after thousands of volunteers reportedly left the state’s rural fire department in recent years.
Spring is expected to be warmer than average and summer could be hot this year
The Bureau of Meteorology has declared an El Niño this summer, bringing hot and dry weather across much of the country
Mr Leach said the rural fire service had 26,500 volunteers, down from 35,000 five years ago, but this was due to a “significant update to our data”.
The reduced number came after a review found a number of volunteers were no longer active in their brigades, had moved away or had died.
He said the 26,500 was “a more accurate reflection of our operational strength” and he and Mr Ryan were confident it was enough for what was expected to be a challenging season.
Mr Ryan also noted the higher number of hazard reduction burns carried out by QFES and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service this year.
WEEKEND WEATHER IN YOUR CITY
Thursday morning fog, then sunny. Maximum 33
Friday cloudy. Min 18 Max 25
Saturday Partly cloudy. Min 14 Max 23
Sunday cloudy. Min 14 Max 23
Thursday sunny. Maximum 33
Friday Mostly sunny. Min 22 Max 35
Saturday sunny. Min 23 Max 35
Sunday Partly cloudy. Min 23 Max 34
Thursday Partly cloudy. Maximum 19
Friday sunny. Min. 1 Max. 18
Saturday early frost. Partly cloudy. Min. 0 Max. 20
Sunday sunny. Min. 1 Max. 22
Thursday Mostly sunny. Maximum 23
Friday Partly cloudy. Min 13 Max 19
Saturday cloudy. Min. 12 Max. 20
Sunday cloudy. Min. 12 Max. 21
Thursday Partly cloudy. Maximum 25
Friday Mostly sunny. Min. 14 Max. 25
Saturday cloudy. Min. 12 Max. 21
Sunday Mostly sunny. Min 10 Max 23
Thursday Partly cloudy. Maximum 18
Friday Mostly sunny. Min. 7 Max. 21
Saturday sunny. Min 10 Max 24
Sunday sunny. Min 13 Max 28
A shower or two on Thursday. Maximum 15
Friday Partly cloudy. Min. 8 Max. 16
Saturday Mostly sunny. Min. 6 Max. 19
Sunday sunny. Min. 8 Max. 24
A shower or two on Thursday. Maximum 13
Friday Partly cloudy. Min. 4 Max. 16
Saturday cloudy. Min. 7 Max. 17
Sunday Mostly sunny. Min. 6 Max. 21