Severe heatwave conditions over New Year’s break

Widespread temperatures above 40C are set to continue across large parts of the nation.

Widespread temperatures above 40C are set to continue across large parts of the nation. Photo: AAP

A severe heatwave is expected to impact three states heading into the new year break.

Parts of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia have been put on alert with conditions eight to 12 degrees above average.

On Saturday, the mercury is set to reach a stifling 49 degrees at Marble Bar in the west’s Pilbra region, with 45 degrees predicted over the next six days.

Uncomfortably warm nights are likely to set in across the Northern Territory with Tenant Creek, 500km north of Alice Springs, set to reach 43 while in Katherine it’s likely to get to 40.\

Heatwave conditions are likely to lessen by Sunday in Queensland and mid next week in both the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

The death toll since Christmas in Queensland stands at seven while three people were killed in storms and flash flooding on Boxing Day in Victoria.

There’s some relief over southern states with cooler conditions forecast over the next few days and no extreme heat alert.

Storm-hit hospital patients in limbo

With beds scarce, a major Queensland health service has been forced to send recovering hospital patients into hotel accommodation rather than discharge them to storm damaged homes without water or power.

The measure has been extended to “specific cohorts of patients” who are ready to leave care but also waiting for their essential services to be restored, Gold Coast Health told AAP.

Storms have lashed southeast Queensland, claiming the lives of seven people since Christmas and leaving more than 100,000 residents without power.

“Some of these patients require lifesaving powered medical devices to manage their health conditions at home,” the health service said in a statement.

“In cases where these patients don’t have access to suitable alternative accommodation such as family or friends, Gold Coast Health works with other departments and our partners to support these patients with interim solutions; this can include temporary hotel accommodation.

“Importantly, this creates bed capacity for patients who require hospital care.”

Brisbane and Gold Coast residents are readying for another storm battering with the Bureau of Meteorology warning of severe weather along Australia’s east coast.

Dangerous thunderstorms are predicted for southeast Queensland, expected to bring flash flooding and destructive winds.

The NSW north coast is also expected to endure isolated and possibly severe thunderstorms.

Meteorologist Johnathan How said it may be a wet start to the new year for coastal residents.

“We do see another area of low pressure developing over eastern Australia and that will continue to drag moisture all the way into the southeast of the country,” he said.

Five homes were destroyed during Christmas Day storms that ravaged the Gold Coast.

NSW and Victoria also experienced wild weather, with three people killed in storm-related incidents on Boxing Day.


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