While Sydney-siders gripe about five consecutive days of “severe heat” over 30 degrees, it seems Griffith and the surrounding areas have more to complain about.
Here in the North-Western Riverina, however, a 30 degree streak is nothing.
Griffith, Leeton, Hay, Narrandera, West Wyalong and all areas in between are in for an unbroken string of seven days set to be more than 10 degrees hotter than our city counterparts.
The heat is expected to break an eight-year-old record in Sydney, with five days over 30 degrees in a row not recorded at the observatory since 2011.
But it seems noone is free from the heat – every state and territory expected to cop the heat when temperatures soar, with some regions to experience severe and extreme hot weather.
Meteorologist from the Bureau of meteorology Ashleigh Lange said the area is experiencing a severe heat wave, the likes of which not seen in over 10 years.
“We are having seven days in row over 40, with Saturday and Sunday, and then the forecast for the rest of the week,” Ms Lange said.
With heat expected to reach a peak on Wednesday with an eye-watering 46 degrees, Griffith is in for seven days punching above the 40 degree mark, with the Saturday and Sunday just gone hitting the mark.
Leeton will fare no better, with a top of 41 degrees expected on Monday, peaking as well Wednesday with 44 degrees, with the scorching 40s streak carrying right through until Friday.
“It is not completely unusual but it’s definitely not common.”
The last time the area had a heatwave like this was back in 2009 starting January 27 and lasting for 13 days.
Why so hot?
So what’s creating these abysmal conditions?
Ms Lange said for the North-West Riverina, there is a combination of contributing factors.
“We have got a high pressure system that's blocking any kind of frontal patterns coming through, they are slipping to the south,” Ms Lange said.
“There is a broad trough in West NSW so warm air is being continually dragged through the whole area.”
How to (not) keep cool
With a number of Blue-green Algae red alerts out in the Murrumbidgee River, make sure you keep up-to-date with safe swimming and recreation locations.
Griffith’s Lake Wyangan (North) is also still currently sitting on Red Alert, with users strongly urged to refrain from using the lake.
Warning signs have been erected around Lake Wyangan North to alert users of the restricted access to the Lake.
Council have said the recreational land such as the picnic area will remain open.
Murrumbidgee River red alerts include the following locations:
- Murrumbidgee River at Redbank weir Buoy (N1057)
- Murrumbidgee River at Maude weir Buoy
- Murrumbidgee River at Leonard Street, Hay
- Murrumbidgee River at Hay weir Buoy
Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) is urging people to take heat-related illness seriously.
Director Public Health Tracey Oakman said while heat-related illness may affect anyone, certain groups are particularly vulnerable.
“Every year hot weather and heat waves cause illness, hospitalisations and sometimes even deaths,” Mrs Oakman said.
During hot weather, it is very important to stay in regular contact with your elderly friends, neighbours and relatives, and to look out for other vulnerable members of your community.
In hot weather, make sure to:
- Drink plenty of water, and remember to carry some with you when you’re out and about.
- If you are travelling, make sure you take water to drink in case you break down or are delayed.
- Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks.
- Plan your day around the heat. Stay indoors between 11am and 5pm and minimise physical activity.
- Keep the sun out of your house by shading windows with an awning, shade-cloth or plants. Shutting curtains will also help.
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