‘Unseasonably warm’ conditions ahead

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Unseasonable heat has much of Australia sweating this week, and experts have warned the temperature won’t be dropping by much any time soon.

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Olenka Duma said hot and dry conditions were expected across NSW for the rest of this week and into the weekend.

But she said the heat was being “dragged across the state” ahead of a series of cooler fronts, with one moving through on Thursday and another expected on Sunday.

“April and into early winter we are expecting generally warmer than average temperatures as well as drier conditions,” Ms Duma said.

“So we can still expect to see some of these warmer days followed by a period of cooler weather over the next couple of months.”

Warm weather is set to stick around heading into the first months of autumn. Picture: NCA NewsWire Gaye GerardWarm weather is set to stick around heading into the first months of autumn. Picture: NCA NewsWire Gaye Gerard

“We are heading into autumn and we are starting to see these cold fronts make their way further north across the state, and with those cold fronts we do often see these warmer temperatures drag across NSW.”

The mercury hit 34C at Sydney Observatory Hill by 1.30pm on Thursday, with the weekend forecast to be in the low 30s ahead of a cooler week in the mid 20s.

Ms Duma said the La Nina weather event had ended, and we were experiencing a neutral phase in El Nino, which meant Aussies across the eastern inland areas could expect generally drier and warmer conditions.

“For this time of the year we are expecting generally these conditions to bring low intensity heatwave conditions to mostly coastal parts of NSW from (Friday) and over the weekend,” she said.

“These hot, dry and windy conditions are expected to bring some elevated fire danger to particularly the ranges and western slopes of NSW today and over the next few days, with fire danger peaking on Thursday and also on Sunday.”

Extreme fire weather warnings have been issued for Thursday across the central and southern ranges.

“We do have a lot of grass fuel load available, so a lot of fuel available to burn, so as we have warmer temperatures, drier conditions and windy conditions, that can elevate fire risk over the winter period.”

However, it’s not just NSW feeling the burn, with other parts of the country scorching in the first few weeks of fall.

Over a four-day heatwave, maximum temperatures are forecast to exceed 40C in some parts of the Pilbara in Western Australia, down to the SA coastline and into inland NSW over the coming days.

The mercury has climbed to 39C in Port Hedland in WA and will stay in the high-30s and low-40s for the best part of the next week.

The NSW town of Bourke, not far from Queensland border, is predicted to hit a record-breaking four-day streak of 40C days from Thursday to Sunday.

A four-day heatwave is set to hit multiple parts of the country. Picture: NCA Newswire / Gaye GerardA four-day heatwave is set to hit multiple parts of the country. Picture: NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard

Four consecutive days of 40C temperatures have not been reported so far into autumn in more than 150 years of records.

Extreme Fire Danger is forecast for the southern and central ranges of NSW and the ACT as hot, dry conditions and fresh westerly winds intensify risk.

A streak of temperatures above 35C will also hit Dubbo, in the NSW central west, from Thursday to Sunday.

This is at least 6C above the average March temperature of 29C.

The “unseasonably hot” temperatures will arrive on the east coast just a few days out from the autumn equinox.

“The prolonged nature of the coming hot spell is quite remarkable,” Weatherzone meteorologist Anthony Sharwood said.

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