A severe heatwave has hit the east coast of Australia and is forecast to stick around for the weekend – with temperatures tipped to exceed 40 degrees in large chunks of Queensland and northern NSW on Friday.
The extreme weather has led fire services to announce total fire bans across Sydney and much of the state after forecasters revealed it was the sunniest November in 26 years and the fourth warmest on record.
‘The heat’s already started to build in Queensland with yesterday’s maximum temperatures in the high 30s to low 40s. We expect those conditions to persist through the weekend,’ said Andrea Peace from the Bureau of Meteorology.
A severe heatwave has hit the east coast of Australia and is forecast to stick around for the weekend (pictured, sunbather at Sydney’s Clovelly Beach on Thursday)
Temperatures are tipped to exceed 40 degrees in large chunks of Queensland and northern NSW on Friday with a total fire ban in place in Sydney
Forecasters revealed it was the sunniest November in 26 years and the fourth warmest on record (pictured, girls soaking up the sun on Thursday)
‘We have a very broad area of severe heatwaves expected through Queensland and northern NSW,’ Ms Peace added.
The month of November had 18 days of 25 degrees or higher – which last happened in 1894 – and the coolest day still reached a maximum of 22.7 degrees.
As Queensland swelters through its first heatwave of the summer, average temperatures are predicted to be six to 10 degrees above average.
Temperatures in central Australia are set to reach the mid-40s on Friday and move east across the weekend, with central Queensland’s Roma predicted to experience five days of 40 degrees or more in December.
Searing temperatures combined with winds of 20 to 30 kilometres have prompted NSW Rural Fire Service to announce total fire bans on Friday for Sydney and the Hunter, Northern Slopes and North Western areas.
Sydney will cop muggy temperatures of up to 31 degrees on Friday with a slight chance of rain, but should dodge the heatwave on the weekend with cooler temperatures and rainfall to follow on Monday.
Brisbane should see temperatures soar close to 34 degrees across the weekend, but the heat could be offset by showers and potential thunderstorms on Saturday.
Temperatures in central Australia are set to reach the mid-40s on Friday and move east across the weekend
Sydney will cop muggy temperatures of up to 31 degrees on Friday with a slight chance of rain, but should dodge the heatwave on the weekend (Bondi Beach pictured on Thursday)
Ambulance services are warning people to be prepared for the heat and heat-related illness
It comes as Queensland Ambulance staff responded to at least seven heat-related incidences on Thursday, the Brisbane Times reported.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster David Bernard told the Times the weather would stick around until next week.
‘Particularly at Ipswich, we’re forecasting temperatures in the high 30s right through into at least the early part of next week.
‘If you’re right on the coast it will be a lot cooler, only going to 30 degrees at Brisbane Airport.’
Queensland Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick warned people to be prepared for the heat and heat-related illness.
He asked people to take care of vulnerable members of society who could be affected, including the elderly, pregnant women, young children, sick people and pets .
Heat stroke or heat exhaustion symptoms could include a rapid heart rate, headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, muscle cramps and dizziness.
Parts of Queensland were peppered with hailstones the size of tennis balls on Thursday after the state endured thunderstorms for the second night in a row.
: Min 19, Max 31. Partly cloudy, chance of showers
Min 19, Max 35. Cloudy, chance of showers
Min 20, Max 27. Cloudy, light winds
: Min 21, Max 36. Hot, partly cloudy
Min 21, Max 34. Hot, possible shower
: Min 22, Max 34. Hot, possible shower
: Min 13, Max 21. Cloud clearing
Min 10, Max 21. Mostly sunny
Min 11, Max 32. Shower or two
: Min 11, Max 31. Possible afternoon shower
Min 11, Max 28. Partly cloudy
Min 11, Max 32. Partly cloudy
Hailstones the size of tennis balls fell in parts of Queensland on Thursday evening