WA swelters with some regions tipped to top 50 degrees

WA's Pilbara region is predicted to be a cauldron of extreme heat in the coming days.

WA's Pilbara region is predicted to be a cauldron of extreme heat in the coming days. Image: Weatherzone

Some Western Australians are sweltering through extreme heat, with parts of the state’s north forecast to reach more than 50 degrees.

The Pilbara is expected to hit those intense temperatures either on the weekend or early next week, according to private forecaster Weatherzone.

The hottest Australian temperature recorded was 50.7 degrees in the Pilbara town of Onslow on January 13 last year.

Weatherzone predicts that record could break due to a large mass of hot air hovering over the region.

“This air mass has the potential to be hotter than usual, even by the Pilbara’s standards, due to enhanced warming from a phenomenon called subsidence,” the weather site said on Friday.

Australia has only registered official temperatures above 50 degrees on seven occasions.

The Bureau of Meteorology has slightly more conservative forecasts for WA’s far north but temperatures are still expected to hit the high 40s.

An official heatwave warning was issued on Thursday for the most of the state, except Perth and the southern regions.

The Pilbara is on an extreme heatwave warning, while a severe heatwave is forecast for the Gascoyne, Goldfields, North Interior and South Interior districts.

Residents in those areas have been advised to seek a cool place to stay, such as a home, library, community centre or shopping centre.

If at home, close the windows and draw the blinds early in the day to keep the heat out, and use fans or air conditioners if available.

The heat comes as ongoing power outages after WA’s Wheatbelt, Goldfields and Great Southern regions – including most homes and businesses in Kalgoorlie, 600 kilometres east of Perth – following recent storm damage.

WA Premier Roger Cook blamed the outages on a “freak weather event” that took out transmission towers across the region.

“To give you an idea of the severity of these storms, these [transmission] towers … are well over 50 metres high. They crumpled like tin foil,” he said.

Cook said power was expected to be returned to all affected homes within the next two days.

Elsewhere, Western Power spokesman Zane Christmas said a key back-up generator in Kalgoorlie that failed on Thursday was now operating again.

“It’s by no means a permanent fix,” he said. “And to be honest, it’s not ideal in terms of supplying the overall load.

“But from a technical perspective, while we work at restoring that damaged power line, it’s maybe the best that we can come up with right now.”

-with AAP

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