Heatwave hits but changes are coming: What to expect today
A SOUTHERLY change and thunderstorms are set to bring much needed respite to parts of the country in the grips of a heatwave.
Wild weather already lashed Victoria last night with destructive storms damaging cars and property and leaving 26,000 homes without power this morning.
The storm sent the mercury plunging from 37C to 24C in just 10 minutes as the cool change swept across the state.
While Melbourne can expect a milder 25C today, those living in Sydney are continuing to sweat through a heatwave.
However, forecasters predict a cool change is on the way and the heatwave will finally come to an end.
WHAT TO EXPECT TODAY
Mostly sunny. Hot, especially over the inland. Slight (30%) chance of a shower about the southern border ranges, near zero chance elsewhere.
The chance of a thunderstorm in the south this evening. Winds north to northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h tending north to northeasterly 20 to 30 km/h in the late morning.
Daytime maximum temperatures 31 to 36.
Darling Downs, Granite Belt
Hot. Sunny morning. Slight (20%) chance of a shower or thunderstorm during this afternoon and evening, most likely about the southeast and Granite Belt.
Winds north to northwesterly 15 to 25 km/h tending west to northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h in the early afternoon then turning north to northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h in the afternoon.
Daytime maximum temperatures 36 to 41.
Wide Bay, Burnett
Mostly sunny. Light winds becoming north to northeasterly 15 to 20 km/h in the early afternoon. Daytime maximum temperatures in the low to mid 30s.
Hot. Partly cloudy. Slight (20%) chance of a shower or thunderstorm near the New South Wales border in the late morning and afternoon.
Near zero chance of rain elsewhere. Winds northerly 20 to 30 km/h tending north to northwesterly 25 to 40 km/h in the morning then shifting south to southwesterly 25 to 35 km/h in the early afternoon.
Daytime maximum temperatures around 40.
Central Highlands, Coalfields
Sunny. Winds north to northeasterly 15 to 20 km/h becoming light in the morning then becoming northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h in the late afternoon. Daytime maximum temperatures in the mid to high 30s.
Central Coast, Whitsundays
Mostly sunny. Slight (20%) chance of a light shower in the north this morning. Near zero chance of rain elsewhere. Light winds becoming easterly 15 to 25 km/h in the middle of the day then becoming light in the evening.
Daytime maximum temperatures 29 to 35.
Mostly sunny. Light winds becoming northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h in the middle of the day. Daytime maximum temperatures in the low to mid 30s.
Hot in the east and north. Partly cloudy. Medium (50%) chance of showers in the northwest, slight (20%) chance elsewhere. The chance of a thunderstorm. Winds south to southeasterly 25 to 40 km/h.
Daytime maximum temperatures 34 to 43.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Hot and mostly sunny. Slight (30%) chance of a shower or thunderstorm in the south this afternoon. Winds northerly 15 to 25 km/h. Daytime maximum temperatures 33 to 39.
Mid North Coast
Hot. Mostly sunny morning. Medium (40%) chance of showers this afternoon and evening.
The chance of a thunderstorm this afternoon, mainly in the west. Winds west to northwesterly 20 to 30 km/h turning north to northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h during the day then tending southerly in the late evening.
Daytime maximum temperatures 34 to 40.
Sky News Weather chief meteorologist Tom Saunders said parts of NSW were now up to day eight of a heatwave, which is defined as three or more days of above minimum and maximum temperatures.
Sydney's Observatory Hill hit 28.7C at 6.30am while Penrith recorded a warm 29C.
Other parts of the state are sweating through above average temperatures.
Mr Saunders said Tamworth was forecast to hit 40C today - which is 8C above average - and this marked the eighth consecutive day with a maximum more than 5C above average.
The cool change is expected to hit around midday.
"A trough and front moving east over eastern Australia separates a hot northerly from a cooler southerly," Mr Saunders said.
"The southerly change is already moving up the NSW south coast and dropped the temperature at Moruya 10C in just over an hour after 7am."
He said the southerly will hit as a bluster and temperatures in coastal suburbs should see temperature drops from the 30s to the low 20s by late this afternoon.
"This follows a very warm night - the city's minimum stayed above 25C, the warmest night since last summer," Mr Saunders said.
"Penrith's maximum of 44.1C on Tuesday and minimum of 25.3C today are the highest for December on record - in 23 years of data."
NSW is still in for a hot day with Sydney expected to reach a top of 36C, which is 11C above average and the hottest day since February.
#Bourke was the hottest spot in the state today at 45°C, with #Penrith setting a December record at 44.1°. #Tibooburra had the warmest overnight low at a stamina sapping 33°C. Daily review at https://t.co/LGL4QaprRL. #NSWweather #ACTweather pic.twitter.com/NgjoFzPrl8— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) December 19, 2017
Canberra is expecting a high of 28C - 2C above average and 6C below yesterday's 34C scorcher.
Penrith will hit 42C, which is 13C above average while Orange will hit 29C.
Scorched Tamworth will hit 40C, which is 10C above average.
Some temporary #Qldheatwave relief for Birdsville today, with maximum temperatures predicted to be nearly 10°C less than the previous day! The #Qldheat doesn't stay away for long - Forecasts are back in the mid-40's by Sunday #heatwave. Find out more at: https://t.co/9oFSj2f5kK pic.twitter.com/PX3oM7sDr1— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) December 19, 2017
Mr Saunders said the storms which lashed Victoria yesterday provided welcome relief from the heat across the state.
"Yesterday, the front swept across Victoria and brought severe thunderstorms," he said.
"Hail was reported from Melbourne's eastern suburbs, Laverton had a wind gust of 98km/h while the city recorded 21mm of rain in just 20 minutes.
"The trough and front will trigger storms across NSW today, although we do not expect the activity to be as widespread as it was in Victoria yesterday."
He said severe thunderstorms were still possible over central NSW today, which may include parts of Sydney.
Here's how the weather is looking for the rest of the country's capitals in the lead up to Christmas
Today 23C with showers clearing, tomorrow 26C, Friday 28C, Saturday 33C, Christmas Eve 27C, Christmas Day 29C.
Today 32C, tomorrow 32C, Friday 31C with possible light showers, Saturday 31C with possible showers, Christmas Eve 31C, Christmas Day 32C with slight chance of showers.
Today 28C and showers, tomorrow 28C with possible showers, Friday 30C, Saturday 33C, Christmas Eve 34C with possible storms, Christmas Day 27C with possible showers and storms.
Today, top of 25C and showers. Tops of 34C and 35C week with possible storms and showers throughout the week.
Today 25C, tomorrow 25C, Friday 29C, Saturday 29C, Christmas Eve 23C and showers clearing, Christmas Day 24C.
Today 29C, tomorrow 33C, Friday 31C, Saturday 29C, Christmas Eve 31, Christmas Day 34C and sunny.
Today 36C and possible storms, tomorrow 24C with showers, Friday 25C with early showers, Saturday 28C, Christmas Eve 33C with showers and possible storms, Christmas Day 25C and possible showers.
Today 21C with showers, tomorrow 23C, Friday 25C and cloudy, Saturday 23C and showers, Christmas Eve 19C with a shower or two, Christmas Day 20C and cloudy.