West Australia braces for hottest period ever

Published on : Friday, February 5, 2016

Western AustraliaSparking fears of more destructive bushfires, a record-breaking heatwave is set to swelter Australia’s west over the next five days as temperatures are not expected to fall below 39 degrees Celsius.

 
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) week-long forecast for the Western Australian (WA) city of Perth shows the heatwave, defined as three consecutive days with maximum temperatures in excess of 32 degrees, will run from Sunday to at least Thursday next week.

 
BoM senior forecaster Neil Bennett said on Friday that if the forecast was accurate, it could be the hottest period the state has endured on record.

 
According to the BoM, the whole state will be impacted by the stifling and “severe” heat, with temperatures in some WA areas peaking at almost 45 degrees Celsius during the stretch. This has not happened before at the Mt Lawley observing site since records commenced there in 1993.

 
WA Health authorities have also advised residents to seek shelter and stay hydrated over the five-day period, with hospitals bracing for hundreds of heat-related cases.

 
The news has prompted warnings from WA fire authorities, with a “watch and act” alert in place for a bushfire which burning 200 km north of Perth.

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