HEATWAVE: The parts of Australia hitting 45C today
AUSTRALIA, you've never seen weather like this.
Temperatures in South Australia are soaring today to record highs while Victorians brace for stifling heat that will become insufferable over the next 48 hours.
Adelaide-based Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster Hilary Wilson told news.com.au several regions will see their 80-year heat records obliterated.
"We have very hot temperatures forecast that could see quite a number of records broken," Ms Wilson said.
The "long list of potential record-breakers" includes Clare, north of Adelaide, that previously recorded a maximum all-time temperature of 43.7C. Clare is expected to reach 45C today.
Cummins, on the Eyre Peninsula, is expected to reach 47C, breaking a previous record of 46.2C, and Roseworthy, north of the capital, could break its previous record high of 46.7C. Temperatures there will top out at 47C during midafternoon.
Adelaide is forecast to hit 45C on Thursday, but the Bureau says the city's 80-year-old record high of 46.1C is within reach.
A Sky News forecast map shows those areas turning an ominous purple colour as the severe heatwave takes hold.
"You wouldn't rule it out," BOM forecaster Jonathan Fischer said.
The hottest temperatures are expected to be recorded at Port Augusta, 300km north of Adelaide, where it could get as hot as 49C.
Adelaide residents sweltered through uncomfortable overnight lows of just 31.1C. It was 33C at 3am.
The record-high temperatures today come with elevated fire risk and warnings are in place across the state. CFS state duty commander Yvette Dowling said the soaring temperatures will be unmanageable in many parts of the state.
"If a fire does start with these forecast weather conditions, we're not going to be able to control that fire," she said.
She urged the public to avoid risky behaviour in order to minimise the bushfire threat.
"The communities are at risk, our firefighters are at risk, all emergency services are at risk tomorrow."
35.3C at 9am this morning in #Adelaide. Leading the State currently is Port Pirie at 40.1C🌡️😰 A very hot day throughout #SouthAustralia. Fire Weather Warnings current for most districts today. Stay up to date at https://t.co/BCG5fZM3WI and stay safe @SAHealth @CFSAlerts— Bureau of Meteorology, South Australia (@BOM_SA) January 23, 2019
SA Health chief medical officer Paddy Phillips said the heatwave will be worse than last week's, when some parts of the state recorded four days above 40C.
"In last week's heatwave we saw 69 people present to hospitals across the state with heat-related conditions and 31 of those were admitted," Prof Phillips said.
But Ms Wilson reckons there's relief in sight.
"For Adelaide, a southwesterly wind change will move through around midnight and temperatures should be cooler tomorrow," she said.
Victorians will sweat through another hot day today but it will be even hotter tomorrow.
Melbourne is forecast to reach 36C today before the mercury climbs past 40C tomorrow.
Overnight, temperatures won't drop below 29C, making it the hottest night of the year so far, before a high of 43C tomorrow.
"The overnight minimum temperatures are nothing short of oppressive unfortunately," the BOM's Richard Russell said.
A cool change is expected late on Friday but it will bring with it wind gusts upwards of 80km/h and increased risk of fire. Thunderstorms are also expected.
Around Victoria, it will be even hotter. In Mildura, in northwest Victoria, temperatures are expected to reach 44C today and 46C tomorrow.
Around the country, the warm weather is continuing after the hottest December on record.
Hobart can expect a top of 27C ahead of 36C tomorrow.
In Canberra, temperatures will reach 33C today and stay hot for the next week. It will be 38C tomorrow and 39C on Australia Day.
Sydney'shottest day of the week will be Saturday, when the mercury hits 32C. Today will be 25C and tomorrow showers should clear for a top of 29C.
Perth is experiencing dreary conditions that will clear for a run of hot weather next week. Australia Day in the west will be a pleasant 31C.
- with AAP