Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Australia fire authorities on high alert amid 40 degree heatwave tipping for this weekend

The Australian city of Melbourne is bracing for its hottest December day in five years, with the mercury tipped to climb as high as 40 degrees Celsius at the weekend, heightening fears of a more damaging bushfires.

After a drier-than-usual winter, the Australian countryside is tinder dry in many parts. Already destructive bushfires have torn through parts of Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria this year before summer had officially started on Dec. 1.

Experts from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the nation's weather watcher, believe Melbourne's temperature could reach 40 degrees Celsius on Saturday, while regions in the north and west of the state could swelter in even hotter conditions.

"Thursday and Friday will reach 33C or higher so the build-up of hot days this week means there it's very likely to hit 40C on Saturday," BoM senior forecaster Richard Carlyon told News Corp on Tuesday.

Australia's state fire authorities will be on high alert after a horror start to the fire season this year, with destructive, and at times deadly, fires already destroying thousands of acres of Australian bushland thus far.

The onset of a powerful El Niño weather system, which has led to below average rainfall this year, has created bushfire-friendly conditions, and this weekend's heatwave could prove to be another busy period for the Central Fire Authority (CFA).

At present the CFA has not issued any total fire bans across Victoria for this week.

Despite Australia slipping into the beginning of summer, Carylon said December typically doesn't hit such temperature highs.

"Melbourne hasn't experiences this kind of extreme December heat since 2010," he said. "It usually hits in January so it's definitely above average."

Carylon said the heat would form in the state's west, a usual hotspot of the state, and travel east to Melbourne due to wind conditions.

"The northerly winds and lack of sea breezes will cause the heat on Saturday and there has been an absence of cold fronts across the coast," he said.

A cold front is forecasted to bring respite to the people of Melbourne by Sunday afternoon, according to Carylon.

 Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

1 comment:

  1. Una ola de calor sin precedences afecta a las principales ciudades de Australia ...

    La ciudad australiana de Sídney aún no se ha recuperado de la tormenta que vivió ayer y ya espera otros episodios de clima extremo: una ola de calor sin precedentes en esta época del año, que se desplazará hacia las ciudades principales del país: Melbourne, Adelaida y Camberra.

    La temperatura alcanzarán máximas de 42 ºC y esa situación no sólo afectará a los ciudadanos, sino al transporte. Así, el principal operador de las líneas ferroviarias ya ha instalado 32 sensores para controlar la temperatura de las vías en tiempo real y los trenes tendrán que disminuir su velocidad hasta 70 kilómetros por hora.

    Normalmente, la zona no registra temperaturas tan altas antes de enero o febrero, los meses más calurosos de verano austral, comenta Darren Ray, de la Oficina de Meteorología de Australia.


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