In This Week's Heatwave, One Aussie Suburb Will Sizzle Like No Other
This week's heatwave will bring prolonged extreme heat to a wide area of eastern Australia.
But residents of one Australian suburb will suffer more than most.
Located about 60km west of Sydney's CBD, the outer western suburb almost always misses the sea breezes which cool things off on Sydney's coastal fringe.
And because of its location at the foot of the Blue Mountains, it acts as a sink which traps hot air coming off the mountains.
All of which conspires to make Penrith hot. Very hot. Here's how hot:
- From Thursday onwards, the next four days in Penrith are tipped to be 39, 41, 41 and 41.
- Compare that to Sydney's CBD, where it's tipped to reach 29, 32, 34 and 32.
This late December heatwave -- which has now descended on much of eastern Australia -- will be prolonged in many areas. It may not set any individual heat records, but in terms of its duration, it will be brutal.
For example, Bourke in western NSW is expecting the following maximum temperatures over the next seven days: 42, 42, 40, 41, 43, 44, 44.
While they're accustomed to that sort of relentless heat in outback NSW, in urban Australia it's much rarer to have a three-to-four day spell of maximum temperatures around 40.
Indeed, almost nowhere in urban Australia is expecting a single day of 40 plus this week. Except for Penrith, which will cop at least three of them.
This is not the first time Penrith has sweltered over a prolonged period in 2018.
In January this year, the suburb endured an awful three-day stretch where the mercury peaked at 42, 47 and 43. Later that same month, it copped a four-day stretch of 40, 40, 40 and 43. You can see those figures here.
The Sydney CBD over the same period? Just one day over 40.
Meanwhile, with so much widespread hot weather expected this week, NSW Health has issued warnings about the heat and about high ozone pollution, which can irritate asthmatics and people with other respiratory conditions.
"Ozone levels are higher outdoors than indoors, so limiting time outside during the heat of the day and in the evening would help people to keep cool and to limit their exposure to ozone pollution," said NSW Health Executive Director Dr Jeremy McAnulty.
Dr McAnulty also said it was very important to be aware of other vulnerable members of the community like the elderly, infants and children, people with a chronic medical condition and those who live alone
"During hot weather, it’s also important to stay in regular contact with elderly neighbours, friends and relatives, because helping them do basic chores to keep them out of the heat could make a life-saving difference," he said.