by Staff writers
IT'S been a hot Australian summer so far but forecasters warn we ain't seen nothing yet.
This weekend is tipped to bring an intense heatwave across most of the country as hot and dry air moves across southern Australia, with the mercury tipped to soar past 40C in a number of regions.
Emergency services are urging people to look after the elderly and children and stay inside if possible.
Melbourne is in for 41C tomorrow with areas of western Victoria subject to fire danger alerts, while much of Tasmania, including Hobart and Launceston, is expected to reach at least 33C.
Adelaide will be a scorcher at 41C, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning parts of SA could be at a 'catastrophic' fire danger risk, which is the highest category on the scale.
Brisbane and Perth are the places to be tomorrow, with both states reaching a 'mild' 30C.
Darwin is 2C above average for this time of year and will hit a top of 32C with possible thunderstorms in the pipeline across the weekend.
A normally mild Canberra is expected to reach 36C with a rare high overnight temperature of 20C.
Then it'll be New South Wales' turn to swelter on Sunday, with above average temperatures in store for Sydney at 40C, while the western suburbs including Penrith, Richmond and Liverpool are predicted to sweat right up into the mid 40s.
Total fire bans have not been imposed in NSW yet but that could change as we head into the weekend.
However Tasmania is facing a state wide fire ban on Saturday with wind gusts of up to 90km/h in store.
Once the heatwave moves on next week, the next three months most of Western Australia, southwest South Australia, northern Tasmania, eastern Victoria, NSW and southern Queensland will be wetter and cooler than average thanks to a La Nina event.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued the La Nina alert, saying there is three times the normal chance of the event which generally brings above average rainfall.
The tropical Pacific Ocean is showing a typical La Nina pattern, but ocean temperatures will stay cooler than average so it is less likely to drive widespread rain.
WEEKEND WEATHER FORECAST
Saturday: 31C, sunny
Sunday: 40C, hot and mostly sunny
Saturday: 41Cm hot and sunny
Sunday: 21C, partly cloudy
Saturday: 36C, sunny
Sunday: 38C, hot and possible showers
Saturday: 29C, sunny
Sunday: 31C, sunny
Saturday: 31C, mostly sunny
Sunday: 32C, mostly sunny
Saturday: 41C, hot and sunny
Sunday: 26C, partly cloudy
Saturday: 33C, hot and possible showers
Sunday: 23C, cloudy
Saturday: 31C, possible storm
Sunday: 30C, rain and possible storm