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Australia goes from heatwave to flood watch

Record breaking heat moves across Australia, meanwhile a Christmas cyclone threatens the Kimberley coast

Last updated: 23 Dec 2013 10:16
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This newly opened water park to the west of Sydney basks in the recent heatwave as temperatures hit 40C [EPA]

New South Wales is currently feeling the heat as the hottest weather of the season makes it way across eastern parts of Australia. Rain is now moving in to break the heat and that wet weather extends right across the country into the Kimberley Plateau where the wet season has well and truly set in.

England’s cricketers certainly felt the heat in Perth last week as temperatures touched 40 Celsius. That heat has now made its way across the country and Melbourne had a high of 39 degrees on Thursday.

England may have to look elsewhere for excuses when the 4th test starts on Boxing Day because rather more comfortable weather is now moving in with temperatures back down in the mid to high 20’s. There may even be a chance of the odd shower, especially late on in the weekend, should the match last that long.

That fresher weather will be somewhat welcome when it moves into Sydney. Saturday saw a high of 41 Celsius in the western suburb of Penrith.  Many parts of New South Wales (NSW) have also had to endure uncomfortably warm nights.

Ivanhoe, in the southwest of NSW has experienced five consecutive days of 40 degree December heat for the first time since 2002. This is only the second time that it has happened in December since records began in 1939.

The daytime heat has been followed by unpleasant nights with some places having their warmest December nights this century. The heat is set to break as rain moves in on a ‘southerly buster‘ moving through and Sydney can expect a 15 degree drop in temperatures highs around 22 Celsius by Christmas Eve.

The rain can be seen as something of a Christmas present here as it can only be of benefit during what is after all the bushfire season. That rain currently links all the way back through the centre of the country, to northern parts of Western Australia.  

It has already been an active wet season, known as ‘the wet’. Wyndham, which is the oldest town in the Kimberley region, recorded 168mm of rain on Sunday, and there is more to come.

The Bureau of Meteorology says there’s a good chance that cyclone will form of WA’s northwest coast over Christmas. If it does, It’ll be called Christine.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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