Glaring problem in world weather map
Australia sweltered through its hottest day ever on Tuesday. Now forecasters are saying even that record could be broken over the coming days.
One world weather map graphically shows just how hot Australia is. Weather company Windy has a temperature map of the globe.
A glance at today's temperatures show much of the northern hemisphere in a chilly blue hue. It is winter after all.
But across the southern hemisphere it's summer and parts of southern Africa and southern Latin America are certainly warm.
Cities in Argentina and Zambia will get in to the 30s today.
But take a look at Australia. It's not orange or red in colour; it's a singed brown - a colour unlike anywhere else.
Even just north of Australia is substantially cooler.
There are a few reasons for this. The positive Indian Ocean Dipole climate driver is funnelling rain to eastern Africa which is causing flooding but also modest temperatures. But that same system is having the opposite effect in Australia, funnelling hot and dry conditions across the continent.
To the north, the monsoon is watering areas around the equator but it's not ventured south yet.
"Normally by mid to late December we'd be seeing some heavy rain on the southern side of the equator associated with monsoon trough," said Mr Saunders.
"(The lack of that) means there is no rain, so there no cloud cover, so temperatures over northern Australia are really heating up and northerlies have carried that hot air down to the southern coastline."
TOO HOT TO HANDLE
New South Wales and South Australia are set to bake in temperatures almost state wide of more than 40C today. Parts of Sydney could be hotter than desert towns today reaching as high as 45C.
Tomorrow it's Victoria's turn to see blistering maximums. Then NSW will get it all over again on Saturday which could be the state's hottest day ever. A single world weather map graphically illustrates how out of kilter Australia's heat is with the rest of the world.
"There are dozens of towns and cities that are likely to see records break before Saturday," Sky News Weather channel meteorologist Tom Saunders said this morning.
Most of the country is in heatwave including all of NSW, South Australia, the Northern Territory and much of Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. Sydney and Canberra are in severe heatwave until Saturday.
South Australia will be scorched today and tomorrow, just like it has been for days. Adelaide is set to top out at 44C. That's only slightly cooler than yesterday when the CBD weather station registered 45C, the hottest ever December day in the city.
A total fire ban is in place across South Australia today. Areas with severe fire danger ratings surround Adelaide.
Into NSW and the state's Rural Fire Service (RFS) has extreme fire danger warnings in place for the Greater Sydney, Illawarra and Shoalhaven and Southern Ranges areas on Thursday.
There are fears the already enormous 40,000 hectare Gospers Mountain blaze, north of the Blue Mountains, will merge with the Green Wattle Creek fire creating a blaze that could encircle Sydney on its land sides.
RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said fire behaviour would be "erratic and significant" due to the winds.
"We can expect the winds to be up and conditions to be at their peak very early in the morning and we'll have high sustained fire dangers for something like 15 hours."
A statewide total fire ban announced on Tuesday will remain in place until midnight on Saturday.
Just about all of NSW will see maximums in the 40s today with the exceptions the far north and south coasts.
Sydney's CBD is looking at a high of 41C today. Penrith, in the city's west, could reach 45C which would be a degree hotter than Broken Hill in the middle of the desert.
A southerly buster could reach Sydney this afternoon that will bring temperatures down dramatically. A high of just 26C is expected tomorrow.
Canberra is also facing 40C today. Brisbane is cooler on a high of 30C. Bushfires are raging around the Sunshine Coast.
ANOTHER HEAT BLAST COMING
The NSW coast will get a break on Friday. While Sydneysiders are cooling down Victorians will be heating up, as will South Australians.
Expect a whopping 43C in the Melbourne CBD on Friday and 45C in Adelaide. Canberra will see 41C.
Hobart will be spared the heat and will stay on 23C.
The end of the week will be warm in Brisbane on 33C and a pleasant 27C in Perth.
A cool change will sweep through southern Australia on Friday which will bring a far more pleasant weekend in the mid-twenties.
"That cool change will be heading up towards the NSW coast but ahead of that it will be a scorching hot day on Saturday when most of NSW will see their hottest temperatures," said Mr Saunders.
The mercury will head into the mid-40s all over the state. Wagga Wagga could see 44C, Canberra 42C and residents of western Sydney 45C. Sydney's CBD will be a mild in comparison 34C.
The hot weather and winds associated with the cool changes are perfect conditions for bushfires so expect more hazy skies, total fire bans and severe or extreme fire dangers throughout the coming days.