Late November heatwave SE Australia 27-29 November and 1 December 2020

A significant burst of heat has filtered into south east Australia which has seen some remarkable maximum temperatures being recorded for November. As with most heatwaves, the worst affected regions are the inland areas distant from the coast.

In particular, South Australia, northern Victoria, a large swathe of New South Wales and inland Queensland are the worst affected areas. The only areas of south east Australia to avoid this event are the usual coastal areas, north east New South Wales and southern Victoria where a cooler change has passed through.

This heat has filtered into the Sydney basin and Western Sydney is expecting 2 consecutive days where maximum temperatures are forecast to reach 40C or higher.

The temperature plots attached are showing the areas worst affected by this event. In south east Australia, the worst affected areas are expected to be the Riverina region then north west towards Broken Hill and into north east South Australia where few people live.

On the 27/11/2020 some maximum daytime temperatures include:-

SOUTH AUSTRALIA - Nullabor 46.1C, Moomba 45.3C, Wudinna 44.9C, Murray Bridge 42.1C and Woomera 41.7C.

QUEENSLAND - Birdsville 47C.

NEW SOUTH WALES - Tibooburra 44C, Ivanhoe 42.7, Hay 41.6C and Deniliquin 40.8C.

VICTORIA - Swan Hill 42.8C and Mildura 42C.

Some samples of forecast temperatures for Saturday and Sunday 28 and 29 November 2020 are

Griffith (NSW) Saturday 43C and and another burst of heat on Tuesday 1/12/2020 45C before a cooler change.

Wagga Wagga (NSW) Saturday 40C and another burst of heat on Tuesday 1/12/2020 40C.

Ivanhoe (NSW) Saturday 44C and another burst of heat on Tuesday 1/12/2020 45C.

Corowa (NSW) Saturday 42C and another burst of heat on Tuesday 1/12/2020 39C.

Dubbo (NSW) Saturday and Sunday 40C and 41C and another burst of heat on Tuesday 1/12/2020 43C.

Penrith (Western Sydney NSW) Saturday and Sunday 41C and 41C and another weaker burst of heat on Tuesday 1/12/2020 38C.

Blacktown (Western Sydney NSW) Saturday and Sunday 41C and 40C and a weaker burst of heat on Tuesday 1/12/2020 35C.

Tibooburra in the far north west of New South Wales is expecting 4 consecutive days of 40C including 44C, 41C, 43C and 45C between Saturday and Tuesday.

A concern of these heatwaves are that grass dries out quickly which increases the fire risk and Western New South Wales is identified as being at high risk of grass fires from theses events.

Another feature of these events is that overnight minimum are often higher than normal. A minimum overnight temperature of 30.6C was recorded at Ivanhoe (NSW) as a sample for the 24 hours to 9 am 28/11/2020.

At Hay (South West New South Wales), the minimum temperature was 27.4C at midnight but by 2.30 am, the temperature had increased to 30.7C and 33.6C by 8 am (24 hours to 9 am 28/11/2020).

This event is significant for November and shows that heatwaves are capable of occurring in late spring across south eastern Australia.

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