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Adelaide, Melbourne weather: SA Premier says power grid will cope with heatwave

The Advertiser 2019-01-10 07:37:00

Adelaide residents are set to swelter today as temperatures in the South Australian capital soar to almost 40C. Port Augusta could reach 43C.

But while the SA Premier has said some people were “anxious” about how the state’s power grid would cope with the sizzling highs, he was confident the lights — and air conditioners — would stay on.

Hot air has travelled down from north western Australia and will hit SA and parts of Victoria today. At 8.30am it was 26C in Adelaide.

The Country Fire Service has total fire bans in place for most coastal districts of the state.

But a heat see saw will see today’s searing highs swing back to more average summer temperatures for the weekend before soaring once again early next week.

Total Fire Bans have been declared for 11 January 2019 in the following Fire Ban Districts: West Coast, Lower Eyre Peninsula, Mid North, Mount Lofty Ranges, Yorke Peninsula, Lower South East

— Country Fire Service (@CFSAlerts) January 10, 2019

Melbourne is set to hit 32C on Friday, then cool on Saturday and Sunday, before shooting up to 37C on Monday, the first day of the Australian Open.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has forecast heatwave conditions across much of central and southern Australia until at least Wednesday. Cities affected include Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra. Victoria and Tasmania are likely to see a “severe” heatwave early next week.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said he expected the state’s electricity network to cope, reported AAP.

“We’ve made all the necessary precautionary investigations regarding our energy supply,” he said.

“Obviously, you’re always anxious when there are very high temperatures in South Australia but we believe we’ve got all the contingencies in place.”

The forecast high temperatures are also a concern for organisers of cycling’s Tour Down Under.

BOM senior meteorologist Tom Delamotte said desert winds from the interior were on a crash course with the southern states.

“North-westerly winds are developing across the state ahead of trough moving from South Australia which will start to drag very warm air sitting over inland Australia into Victoria,” Mr Delamotte said.

“There will be no wind across the state to flush out the hot air so it will just continue to build. It does look like a very hot start to next week.”

Indeed, it’s a hot start to 2019; just weeks after 2018 wrapped up and chalked up the dubious honour of being Australia’s third warmest year on record.

Adelaide will be the first city to feel the burn with a high 39C on Friday. After a brief lull into the mid-30s on the weekend as a cold front passes through, the mercury will bounce up to 39C again on Monday, 41C on Tuesday and as high as 43C on Wednesday. Yikes.

Melbourne will be a sunny 32C on Friday before sinking back into the high-20s for the weekend. Then the heat see sew pushes up again to 37C on Monday, just in time for the first serve at Melbourne Park.

Although Mr Delamotte said these highs might be moderated if a sea breeze pushes into the city.

Away from the coast, it’s even toastier. Expect 41C in Bendigo on Monday; 42C in Echuca and 43C in Mildura.

Hobart will reach 29C on Friday. Then down to 24C on the weekend and up again to 28C on Monday.


As you head inland the seesaw is likely to get stuck on hot. Thursday’s 27C in Canberra will be 35C by Saturday and then temperatures will bob around the mid-30s until a brow mopping 38C on Tuesday.

Over the border into New South Wales, regional cities can expect days of around 40C early next week. Wagga will hit 40C on Monday and 42C on Tuesday; Dubbo will be between 38C and 41C for several days beginning on Sunday while Griffith is looking at least a five day 40C plus stretch from Saturday.

In Sydney, it will get warmer, but it won’t be as blistering. In fact it could be great beach weather. Friday’s 28C will rise to 31C by Saturday and then it will be a sunny week in the high-20s, possibly even 33C on Tuesday.

NSW and parts of Victoria will see some thunderstorms. Mostly around southern and central parts on Thursday and Friday, they could push into the major cities. By Saturday the storms should have done their worst and will peter out.

Perth is getting warmer — 28C on Friday, 32C on Saturday and 34C by Wednesday.


Further north, the tropical low that was once Cyclone Penny continues to dominate the weather, said Sky News Weather channel meteorologist Tom Saunders.

The system crossed land at 5pm on Wednesday near Bowen. Not being a tropical cyclone, it hasn’t brought destructive winds, but it has made the coast a washout.

“The heavy rain and flash flooding will continue with the heaviest falls around the central coast and Lower Burdekin regions with isolated totals over 100mm likely,” Mr Saunders said.

“On Friday, the low will be heading towards Cairns. We’re likely to see some very heavy falls over the weekend before the heaviest rain moves to the west to, finally, give some good rain to Darwin.”

Townsville is likely to see showers until Friday with highs in the low 30s. Cairns could see about 70mm of rain on Friday with temperatures around the 30C mark.

Brisbane will be far more settled with sunny conditions and 31C for the weekend and into next week.

Darwin will be 34C and sunny until at least Saturday. But the low is coming with four days of heavy downpours — as much as 35mm of rain — from Sunday onwards.

Originally published as Power concerns as heatwave hits