Temperatures in Sydney climb to nearly 40C as authorities issue bushfire warnings

Australia’s southeast sweated through extreme heat on Saturday, with temperatures hitting nearly 40C (104F) in Sydney.
One weather station in the city – the capital of New South Wales – recorded temperatures of 38.9C (102F) on Saturday, according to forecaster data.

However, that was still some way short of December’s record of 42.2C for the same weather station – at Observatory Hill – which was set in 1957.

Image: Joshua Saunders showers his two-year-old son Harvey at Sydney’s Bondi beach as temperatures near 40C. Pic: AP
Though Australia is currently approaching midsummer, Saturday’s temperature is almost 15 degrees above the average December high for the city.
Authorities have issued bushfire warnings and banned fires in large parts of New South Wales state because of the recent warm weather, which has been driven by warm northwesterly winds.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in Sydney it was “a time to ensure that we look after each other and stay safe”.
“In Sydney, and in other parts of the east coast, it’s a reminder that there just might be something in this climate change stuff,” he said.

Image: A New South Wales Rural Fire Service fire engine at a hazard reduction burn site in Sydney. File pic
The heat heightens the risk of bushfires in an already high-risk season during Australia’s December-February summer due to an El Nino weather event, typically associated with extremes such as wildfires, cyclones and droughts.
There were 71 grass and bushfires – 21 of them uncontained – burning across New South Wales on Saturday, the state’s Rural Fire Service said.


Authorities have raised concerns about a return of dangerous fire conditions this summer after Australia’s last two fire seasons were quiet compared with the 2019-2020 “Black Summer” that destroyed an area the size of Turkey and killed 33 people.
Read more from Sky News:UK weather: Second storm sweeps the countryTemperatures worldwide set to break records in 2023 and 2024

Image: People visit Sydney’s Bondi beach as temperatures reach near 40C. Pic: AP

In a warning on Friday, the forecaster said “severe heatwave conditions” would continue in much of New South Wales into next week, with peak temperatures predicted for the weekend.
However, amid the warnings, visitors to Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach had a more relaxed approach to the spike in temperatures.
Beach-goer Carley Carr said: “It’s about time that we had a good summer.”

Source : Sky News