Parts of NSW are headed for a three-day heatwave, while Sydney enjoys its hottest day in two years.
From Monday, the mid-north coast of NSW would be stuck in a heatwave, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
Daytime temperatures are expected to be in the mid to high 30s over coming days. Overnight, temperatures could drop to the mid teens or about 20 degrees.
The bureau said the heat was likely to peak on Tuesday, before milder conditions extended across NSW on Thursday, when heatwave conditions should ease.
Sydney will also feel the heat for the first part of the week.
“These conditions are being driven by hot and dry continental west-north-westerly winds, bringing the high temperatures to eastern NSW including Sydney,” the bureau said.
“It is not unusual to experience heatwaves during early autumn as the weather transitions from the warmer months of summer to the cold of winter.”
On Monday, Sydney’s temperature soared to 38 degrees, despite it being autumn. It was the harbour city’s highest temperature in more than 800 days, according to forecaster Weatherzone.
It said November 29, 2020, was the last time Sydney had a 38-degree day. Repeated La Nina years have brought cool and wet summers since then.
The heat is expected to hang around well into the night, Weatherzone added.
By 9pm, Sydney’s temperature could still be about 30 degrees, dropping to the high 20s by midnight. The heat will slowly subside during the start of the week, with Tuesday forecast to reach 34 degrees and Wednesday 30.
By Thursday, Sydney should have temperatures in the mid-20s, while showers are forecast for the weekend.
The weather bureau said its long-range forecast for autumn indicated it was likely to be drier and warmer than usual for much of Australia.
Sydney hasn’t reached 38 degrees since November 2020.
Fire warnings sweep across state
The hot and dry conditions across NSW and gusty winds have led to increased fire danger.
On Monday, Sydney, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, southern ranges, Monaro Alpine, southern slopes, eastern and northern Riverina, upper central-west plains, north-western and northern slopes regions had a “high” rating on the NSW RFS fire danger scale.
There was an “extreme” fire risk for the lower central-west plains, central ranges and the Greater Hunter areas.
“Winds will gradually tend more west to south-west and ease in the evening,” the BOM said.
“Isolated high-based thunderstorms possible during the early morning about the southern and central ranges, then developing in the afternoon across the northeastern ranges. Little to no rainfall is expected with any thunderstorm activity.”
There was one emergency warning for an out-of-control bushfire on Monday afternoon – in Tambaroora, 280 kilometres west of Sydney.
People in the area of area of Alpha Road, Hill End Road, Ullamulla Road and Tambaroora should seek shelter, as NSW RFS said it was too late to leave.
There are several other active fires burning across NSW.
People in the Burrendong are being told to watch and act if necessary, as a blaze burns out of control.
Monsoon drenches Queensland
Meanwhile, Far North Queensland is on flood alert, as a monsoon hit the state.
The system may linger near the southern Gulf of Carpentaria over the next few days, while
Widespread daily rainfall totals of 20-40 millimetres are likely, with isolated falls of 70-100 millimetres possible across saturated catchments.
Several major roads in the state’s far north were closed due to the weather.
As the monsoon moved across the Top End, hundreds of people from remote communities were forced to evacuate.
Elevated water levels remain across parts of the NT’s Victoria River with the Victoria River Crossing still flooded, though the rain has started to ease.