A firefighter battles a grass fire on the Golden Highway between the rural towns of Merriwa and Cassilis in the NSW Central West.
A firefighter battles a grass fire on the Golden Highway between the rural towns of Merriwa and Cassilis in the NSW Central West. Jeremy Piper

A scorching autumn? More heatwaves could be on the way

NSW residents have been commended for surviving a ­record-smashing weekend of hot weather without throwing energy supply into chaos - but more heatwaves could be on the horizon.

After the state stared down what firefighters described as the worst bushfire conditions on ­record, NSW is set for a brief ­reprieve from the scorching conditions in the coming days before it heats up later in the week.

And the start of autumn next month won't guarantee any lasting relief.

"Unfortunately, the February to April outlook is still for hotter, dryer months ahead. At the moment we can't be sure of any lack of heatwaves for the foreseeable future," Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jordan Notara said yesterday.

Households and business were praised for heeding warnings and conserving energy on the weekend, which prevented the feared rolling blackouts.
 

The view from the RFS plane of the Sir Ivan Fire, in the NSW Central West, which breached containment lines.
The view from the RFS plane of the Sir Ivan Fire, in the NSW Central West, which breached containment lines. Supplied

Energy use in NSW on Saturday was the highest since 2011. And that was after people were urged to conserve power as reserves plunged.

The Australian Energy Market Operator said levels had stabilised thanks to people heeding the warnings.

Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin thanked households for co-operating over the weekend.

"We have got through back-to-back days of this extraordinary heatwave without any rolling blackouts thus far and I'd like to thank the community again for pitching in," Mr Harwin said.

Demand on Saturday peaked at around 13,500mW - some 300mW less than originally forecast. This follows Friday's high of 14,100mW, just short of the state's record of 14,649mW.

Sydney will reach 27C today, with low 30Cs out west. Temperatures will then drop midweek before soaring back above 30C on the weekend.

News Corp Australia


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