Increased risk of heatwaves forecast in Australia


heatFISH out the sunscreen Australia, and keep it handy. We’ve been warned to brace for a summer of scorching heat and pummelling wind.

In its severe weather outlook up to next April, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has cautioned the country’s dry spell is set to continue and as many 11 cyclones could form in the coming months.

But it’s the heat that could really punish. So much so, the Bureau has started its heatwave notification service early and Queenslanders have been warned not to set their air conditioners too cold for fear of crashing the electricity network.

In a normal year, the BoM doesn’t start reporting on potential heatwaves until November. But not this year, which has seen Australia’s most parched winter ever.

“We’ve had a much warmer- and drier-than average winter this year,” BoM meteorologist Adam Morgan said.

“Maximum temperatures were the warmest since national records began in 1910. And it’s likely to stay warmer than average in the months ahead.

“With lower soil moisture and clear skies expected over many areas this summer, the chance of heatwaves is increased.”