Sydney is windy tinderbox
NEW South Wales is a tinderbox as temperatures climb across the State, with the total fire bans and fire weather warnings in places across half of the state.
Eleven areas of NSW are on high alert due to the hot, windy weather: Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Far South Coast, Monaro Alpine, Southern Ranges, Central Ranges, North Western, Lower Central W Plains, Sthn Slopes and the Eastern Riverina regions: basically the entire southeast corner of the state.
Temperatures in some areas today are tipped to top 40 degrees, combined with winds between 30 to 60 kilometres an hour.
At midday across Sydney it was 34C and rising.
It’s the hottest start to Sydney autumn in almost two decades, and wind gusts expected to last all day will up the bushfire potential rather than offer respite from the heat.
On Saturday, Sydney and surrounding areas sweltered through top temperatures of 36C in Campbelltown, and 32C in the CBD.
There was scant relief overnight, with the city falling to a minimum of 20 degrees.
As the sun rose higher the mercury started a steady climb, hitting 30 degrees in the city by 10am, and past 34C by midday.
A high of 40 degrees is forecast in the city and CBD — 15 degrees above average for autumn
Parramatta, Blacktown, Canterbury and Campbelltown are also tipped to hit 40C.
In Penrith, temperatures are tipped to hit 41 degrees, and similar searing heat is expected in the Hunter Region.
AT midday, it was 36.4C at Sydney Airport; 34.7 in the CBD, 35C at Sydney Olympic Park and 35.7 at Bankstown.
In Penrith Richmond it was 37.2 at midday. Canterbury hit 35.1 at noon, and Penrith, 36.5C.
Sydneysiders thinking the beach might offer sweet relief should think again.
Temperatures at Bondi are expected to hit 39C — the strong north-westerly winds fanning bushfire concerns trump any hope of a sea breeze which usually keeps temperatures about 10C lower than in the west, forecasters say.
“Normally there’s a big difference between the CBD and western Sydney because of the sea breeze, but the north-westerly winds are expected to be so strong on Sunday that there will be no sea breeze felt anywhere,” Weatherzone meteorologist Jessica Miskelly said.
In the west, the Lower Central West Plains and Eastern Riverina have total fire bans with temperatures in the high 30s.
Meanwhile, Victoria is in crises with homes lost and lives properties at risk as bushfires in there state worsen.
Some are fleeing. Others have been told it’s too late to get out as a wind change looks set to make two bushfires converge, putting two towns squarely in their path.
In NSW and the ACT, rural fire service crews are on standby.
IN Western Australia, Tropical Cyclone Marcus is expected to hit the Kimberley coast today as the clean-up gets underway in Darwin.
The category two system is continuing to intensify as it moves over the southern Timor Sea.
Wind gusts of more than 150km/hr are predicted to lash the WA coastline on Sunday, with the cyclone expected to hit the far north Kimberley Region about 8am AWST (11am AEDT).
Heavy rain and flooding in low-lying areas is also likely over the next 48 hours.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts the cyclone should move off the coast on Monday morning, but it is unlikely to move far enough south to impact Broome and Derby.
The cyclone battered Darwin on Saturday, as 130km/hr winds brought down trees and power lines.
More than 25,000 properties remain without power.