MELBOURNE: The Australian weather bureau has announced that a spring heat wave affecting extensive areas of the southeastern region, including Sydney, is set to intensify on Monday.
Australia is currently experiencing an escalating heat wave that originated in the country’s outback interior over the weekend.
This heat wave is anticipated to persist until Wednesday and will impact the states of South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales.
The Bureau of Meteorology has indicated that numerous early spring temperature records are likely to be shattered in the coming days, describing the heat as “extraordinarily unusual for the month of September.”
“A reprieve from the heat is not expected until Wednesday onwards, as a stronger cold front crosses the southeastern states,” the weather bureau said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
The heat took its toll on runners in the Sydney marathon on Sunday with 26 people taken to the hospital and about 40 treated for heat exhaustion by emergency services.
Temperatures in Sydney’s west are expected to hit 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 F) on Monday before dropping to about 22 degrees Celsius (71 F) on Thursday, the weather bureau forecasts showed.
About 50 grass or bushfires are burning across New South Wales but all have been brought under control.
Earlier Reuters reported that the heat burst came after the forecaster said last week that indicators of an El Nino weather event had strengthened and it would likely develop between September and November, bringing hotter, drier conditions to Australia.
The weather bureau said the “early period of heat” in many parts of the country was “very uncommon during September”.
“These temperatures will intensify from Sunday through Tuesday,” it said on Facebook, with temperatures 8 to 16 C (46.4 to 60.8 F) above average.
“Record September daytime and nighttime temperatures are expected from Sunday through Thursday across inland areas of South Australia, New South Wales and northeast Victoria.”