The heat wave that has sparked dozens of bush fires in Australia is set to return today with temperatures over 40 degrees for numerous areas.
Australia’s heat map this afternoon, the purple/brown shade in the centre is 40+C temps / weathermap.co.nz
WeatherWatch.co.nz says that 40 degree highs will spread from the west coast to the Hunter Valley in the east and just about everywhere in between.
Coastal areas in the east, including Sydney, will also be hot but are not expected to suffer into the 40s, instead it should reach the low 30s.
The hot air may still be carried to the South Island helping lift eastern temperatures from time to time in New Zealand.
WeatherWatch.co.nz predicts highs into the 30s again for eastern areas of New Zealand this weekend. Canterbury should reach the 30 degree mark on Sunday with Christchurch currently predicted to reach 29 degrees. Hawkes Bay is also expected to reach the 30 degree mark.
The NZ heat is somewhat connected to Australia but much of our warmth is being generated by typical nor’westers, more common in Spring.
While winds have eased for many centres today, especially in the North Island, gusty conditions will be off and on around the lower South Island especially for another week causing daytime highs to fluctuate as the winds ease and strengthen.
Meanwhile western Australia has a monster category 4 tropical cyclone brushing the region.
Cyclone Narelle is a category 4, out of 5, tropical cyclone and continues to intensify. WeatherWatch.co.nz says Narelle may reach the extreme Cat 5 status today or Saturday, then will hug the western coastline potentially bringing gales and rain to Perth later this weekend before curving into the Southern Ocean, falling apart and getting caught up in the westerlies that push towards New Zealand.
By head weather analyst Philip Duncan, WeatherWatch.co.nz