Temperatures are expected to soar more than 8C above average along Australia’s east coast this weekend.
On Sunday, Sydney – where the NRL and NRLW grand final clashes will take place – could reach a maximum of 35C, making it the hottest day that an NRL grand final match has been played in history. The last hottest conditions for an NRL grand final was in 2014 at 34.7C.
On Saturday, most of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria will experience temperatures 8C above average for the month September. In the far west of Victoria and the south-west of NSW the temperature could climb by 12C, the Bureau of Meteorology’s senior meteorologist, Angus Hines, said.
In Melbourne, where fans of the AFL will be out in force for the grand final match, Hines said punters could expect a high of 29C.
“The AFL grand final is on Saturday afternoon right at the peak of the heat, so a little uncomfortable perhaps for the players out there in the 29C sunshine,” Hines said.
“I believe it is one of the top five warmest grand final days we have on record.”
The high temperatures are due to a north-westerly wind dragging hot air from a heat bubble that has built up in Western Australia to the east coast, Hines said. But hotter than average ocean temperatures globally are also driving the scorching weather.
“I believe every month since April has set an average for warmest ocean temperature for that month,” Hines said.
Temperatures will probably be around 8C above average on Sunday for most of the NSW coast, and also above average on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We’ve got some really strong deviations from normal on Sunday, even in October where we normally expect the warmest October days to come at the end of the month because that’s closer to summer,” Hines said.
However, Hines said the unusually warm weather was unlikely to be classed as a heatwave given temperatures would drop to the low to mid-20s on Monday, before picking up again on Tuesday and Wednesday and then dropping again from Thursday.
With windy weather expected alongside the hot weather on Sunday, Hines said there was an increased fire risk in eastern NSW.
It comes as eastern Australia experienced its first big heatwave of spring almost two weeks ago, sending temperatures soaring 12C above average in regions including Sydney.
According to the bureau’s latest climate outlook for October to December, temperatures above the median maximum are very likely for most of Australia. Meanwhile, below median rainfall is also very likely for most of Australia.
Last week, the bureau declared that Australia is now in the grip of an El Niño climate pattern, which will increase the chances of a hot and dry summer, and heighten the risk of dangerous bushfires.
Source: The Guardian