Heatwave conditions will spread across northern Australia while the east coast can expect more thunderstorms and showers as the new year approaches.
Jonathan How, a forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology said showers should clear across most capital cities, including Sydney and Melbourne, in time for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, but were likely to linger in Brisbane throughout the evening fireworks.
How said severe thunderstorms were likely to develop across north-east New South Wales and south-east Queensland over Saturday and Sunday, potentially bringing more intense rainfall, damaging winds and large hail to areas already battered by days of storms.
“[The storms are] further north than the last few days,” How said. “Sydney [has a] very low risk of storms, and [we are] not expecting any storms in Victoria either.
“Given that many people will be out and about outdoors, camping as well, we’re really just trying to remind people to check the warnings and the forecast before making plans.”
Some showers and cool conditions are expected in Sydney on New Year’s Eve, but the rain should clear up by the midnight fireworks, How said, despite lingering cloud cover.
Brisbane is set to be the wettest capital city on Sunday. Showers and thunderstorms – potentially severe – are expected throughout the day, but should ease to light showers by midnight.
A broad area of the east coast is at risk of thunderstorms, from north of Coffs Harbour in NSW, spreading through inland areas all the way to northern Queensland.
This covers Byron Bay, Lismore and Grafton into the northern tablelands, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, up to Toowoomba, Cairns and the Gulf country.
Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart and Adelaide are expected to stay mostly dry, with maximum temperatures ranging from the low to mid 20Cs.
Hobart can expect a cool New Year’s Eve with some cloud cover during the day but mostly dry conditions and a maximum of about 23C, falling to 14C by midnight. Adelaide will also be dry and cloudy, with a maximum temperature about 26C, falling to 16C by midnight.
Hot conditions are expected across northern Australia and Western Australia this weekend, which How said is expected at this time of year. But severe heat is forecast for parts of northern Western Australia, most of the Northern Territory and northern Queensland.
An extreme heatwave warning is in place for Marble Bar in the Pilbara region, expected to reach 49C on Saturday and 48C on Sunday.
“It’s normally the one of the hottest places in the country, but even this is quite hot for them, getting up into the high 40s over multiple days,” How said.
The Australian temperature record for December is 49.5C, which How said “we’ll be getting close to”.
“If it were to reach 50 degrees it probably would be Marble Bar, but at this stage all the models are kind of going for that 48, 49 [mark].
How said maximum temperature records for December could be broken in parts of Queensland, with Longreach and Birdsville set to reach up to 46C and 47C.
Perth will be “the pick of the bunch” for NYE celebrations, expected to remain sunny and warm with a top of 30C in the day, and 24C by midnight. Showers and storms are expected in Darwin but temperatures will remain warm in the day, with a top of 35C.