Heatwave smashes 139 year record

Heatwave in state’s north smashes 139 year record


Weather
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While the east and west of the state enjoy a cooler change, towns in the northwest are sizzling through one of the hottest summers on record.

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While the east and west of the state enjoy a cooler change, towns in the northwest are sizzling through one of the hottest summers on record.

Weatherzone forecasts the town of Walgett won’t experience a day below 44 degrees Celsius any day in the next week, with the mercury predicted to tip 45 degrees next Monday.

The length of this heatwave smashes the previous record of 29 days above 35 degrees, which was recorded in 1882 and 1896. So far there have been 36 consecutive days above 35 degrees and there is no end in sight.

Bourke is in for 45 degrees today, Cobar will sweat through 42 and Dubbo will endure another 40 degree day.

Ben Domensino from Weatherzone said while no temperature high records had been broken this year, the weather was far from usual.

“The most significant thing about the heat last month and into February, is just how persistent it is,” he said.

In the state’s southwest, temperatures are floating around the 30 degree mark, with 30 in Griffith, 31 degrees in Hay and 33 in Hillston.

Cooler temperatures are also continuing on the east coast, with the southerly change lingering in the Hunter region.

Sydney is enjoying a more temperate 27 degrees, Forster will reach tops of 29 and Coffs Harbour has a slightly warmer 33 degrees forecast.

The southerly change has been a welcome relief for firefighters battling 36 active fires across the state, although the fire danger is still very high.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has issued a total fire ban in the Northwestern region, and Greg Allan from the RFS said people needed to be aware of the danger of grass fires, especially when the mercury reaches above 40 degrees.

“There is a significant risk of grass fires this summer, and people need to be aware they can burn three times faster than normal fires,” he said.

“People living in high risk areas need to have a fire escape plan in place, and people visiting high risk areas need to check what the dangers are.”

A fire east of Grafton is continuing to travel south and has already burned 2350 hectares of bushland, covering the surrounding region, including Port Macquarie and Kempsey, in a thick haze of smoke.

The RFS said they were working alongside National Parks and Wildlife Services to contain the fire, but no properties were under threat.

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