Australia’s east coast feels like it is on fire as Sydneysiders brace for one of the hottest days of the year with a high of 44C that will reach a staggering ‘feels like’ temperature of 60C in some parts.
Thousands flocked to Bondi Beach as the sun rose in an attempt to beat Saturday’s sweltering heatwave currently moving through NSW on the back of hot north-westerly winds.
This year is officially the country’s hottest year on record and the latest heatwave comes as towns on the western border of NSW sweated through temps of 45C throughout the week.
The peak of the wave is hitting over the weekend however, with Sky News Meteorologist Rob Sharpe predicting that people won’t soon forget it.
‘For a lot of people it’s probably going to be one of the most uncomfortable days of their lives,’ Mr Sharpe said.
Thousands flocked to Bondi Beach on Saturday to beat the heat currently smashing NSW
A high of 44C will translate into a ‘feels like’ temperature of 50-60C depending on where people are, according to Sky News Meteorologist Rob Sharpe
This year is officially the hottest year on record for Australia and more heat waves than usual are predicted to come in the months and weeks ahead
The sweltering heatwave is currently moving through NSW on the back of hot north-westerly winds
Some Sydneysiders tried to beat the heat by getting in the water before the sun had risen but by 10am the day’s heat was in full effect
Apparent temperatures are the combination of real temperatures mixed with wind and humidity and often make extreme temperatures feel even worse.
‘If you’re standing on the grass in 40-degree heat, the apparent temperature is more like 48,’ Mr Sharpe said.
‘Apparent temperatures in the sun on the grass could nudge 50 degrees (on Saturday), and in carparks, that could even approach 60.’
More heatwaves that last longer than usual are expected to come before the end of the year, according to Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Hugh McDowell.
Mr McDowell told NCA NewsWire that Australians should begin preparing now for the extreme heat, with the bureau expecting a greater number of days that hit 40C or more.
‘This summer, in particular, looks like it is going to see above-average max and minimum temperatures,’ he said.
‘Heatwaves are looking like they are going to be increasing in frequency and duration as well.
‘There is a very high likelihood of exceeding the median maximum temperatures across pretty much all states.’
The average duration of a heatwave is about three days, Mr McDowell said, and Australians should expect heat events over the 2023-24 summer to stretch out longer than that.
He said it was possible a heatwave could last as long as a week.
Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Hugh McDowell said Australians should begin preparing now for the extreme heat, with the bureau expecting a greater number of days that hit 40C or more this summer
The average duration of a heatwave is about three days, Mr McDowell said, and Australians should expect heat events over the 2023-24 summer to stretch out longer than that
‘Apparent (or ‘feels like’) temperatures in the sun on the grass could nudge 50 degrees (on Saturday), and in carparks, that could even approach 60,’ meteorologist Rob Sharpe said
Hundreds of lifeguards were recruited to keep an eye on the influx of swimmers who raced to get in the water as temperatures began to spike
Extreme heat events can be fatal and Mr McDowell said Australians should begin preparing now for them.
‘Extreme heat is Australia’s most deadly natural hazard, it kills more people than flooding and fire combined, so it’s good to have a plan in place,’ he said.
‘Generally, just trying to keep our houses cool by keeping the blinds drawn during the day, keeping things well ventilated.
‘If you’ve airconditioning, use it, if you haven’t and it is very hot, it is good to get out of the heat and go to the local mall, anywhere that you can cool down.
‘Check in on people who are vulnerable, like elderly neighbours or children.’
The warning comes as Australia’s east coast braces for wild weather, with North Queensland confronting a tropical cyclone and NSW residents facing a weekend of 40C heat.
A brutal heatwave is spreading across Australia this weekend as half of the country braces for unrelenting temperatures with little relief (pictured, predicted temperatures this weekend)
The heat somehow didn’t stop some from squeezing in a brutal run in the sun
Mr Sharpe said that for a lot of people, Saturday will be ‘one of the most uncomfortable days of their lives’
The mercury is expected to soar to a high of 44C on Saturday in parts of western Sydney.
Thousands are expected to brave the beating sun to catch a sweep of large-scale concerts, including The Foo Fighters and 50 Cent at Sydney Olympic Park, Dermot Kennedy at the Opera House and Alex G at the Metro Theatre in the CBD.
Festivalgoers planning on attending the Let the Good Times Roll festival on the Central Coast on Sunday have also been warned to be on the lookout for signs of heat stress.
HSU Events sent out a warning to attendees of Saturday’s Epik music festival at Sydney’s Olympic Park earlier in the week instructing them to hydrate in the two days leading up to the event.
‘What you drink today will benefit you tomorrow,’ organisers warned attendees on Friday.
Meteorologists have warned that forecast temperatures in the state will be the hottest weather since the Black Summer bushfire season in 2019/2020.
Extreme heat events can be fatal and Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Hugh McDowell told NCA NewsWire that Aussies need to prepare for more to come
Heatwaves are looking like they are going to be increasing in frequency and duration as well – with some lasting up to a week
Despite NSW residents facing a weekend of plus-40C heat, North Queensland is confronting a tropical cyclone
Those who are over the age of 65, babies and young children, those with certain medical conditions, people who work outside, pregnant women and those who live alone are all at increased risk of suffering illness when the heatwave strikes, according to NSW Health’s Jeremy McAnulty.
‘Hot weather puts a lot of strain on the body, including dehydration and can make underlying health conditions worse,’ Dr McAnulty said.
He recommended people avoid spending time outdoors during the hottest time of the day, limit exercise to the morning and drink water regularly.
Symptoms of heat-related illness can include dizziness, tiredness, thirst, fainting, cramps, heavy sweating, shallow breathing and vomiting.
Those who experience these symptoms need to move out of the sun and seek shade or airconditioning, drink water and even take a cool shower or bath.
Pets are also something to keep an eye on during the heat and owners are encouraged to make sure that their furry friends are well hydrated and have access to shade.
The NSW towns of Armidale, Broken Hill, Bourke, Cobar, Dubbo, Goulburn, Moree, Orange, Tamworth and Yass are also expected to be impacted, with temperatures expected to reach the low to mid-40 and the mid-30s over higher terrain.
The Rural Fire Service is warning of a heightened fire danger during the heatwave weekend, urging those visiting bushfire-prone areas to know the day’s fire danger rating and to make a bushfire action plan.
Health authorities are warning everyone to keep an eye out for vulnerable people who may not be adjusting well to the sudden spike in temperature
The elderly, babies and young children, those with certain medical conditions, people who work outside, pregnant women and those who live alone are all at increased risk
Authorities have recommended that people avoid spending time outdoors during the hottest time of the day, limit exercise to the morning and drink water regularly
NSW Police are also urging people to take it easy on the roads, with many deciding to head to the beach, where parents have been asked to keep an eye on kids near the water.
Those closer to the coast will be a little more fortunate, with temperatures expected to peak at 35C on Saturday around the Sydney CBD.
From this weekend and into early next week, South Australia could also be hit with a raft of dangerous weather, including heavy rain, severe thunderstorms and damaging winds.
People living in SA are having a wildly different experience this weekend as a raft of dangerous weather, including heavy rain, severe thunderstorms and damaging winds hit them
Pets are also something to keep an eye on during the heat and owners are encouraged to make sure that their furry friends are well hydrated and have access to shade
The heatwave is expected to end in Sydney on Sunday but experts warn that it is far from the last for the 2023-2024 summer season