By Friday it is forecast to be 45 degrees or higher in country areas such as Cobar, Griffith, Wagga Wagga and Orange before cooling slightly on Sunday.
These temperatures aren’t normal, but won’t quite break the record-breaking heat of last week, when the 15 hottest sites in the world were all in Australia, and in northern New South Wales it was so hot that there were reports of roads melting.
In Sydney, coastal areas will hover around the low-to-mid 30s from Friday to Sunday, while parts of the city’s west like Richmond, Campbelltown, Blacktown, Liverpool and Bankstown will all creep above 40, and Penrith is expected to reach a top of 43 degrees on Sunday.
Sydney is also set to sizzle through Australia Day activities on Saturday, with January 26 set to be its hottest since at least 2004, according to Weatherzone – and about six degrees hotter than it was last year, when the CBD hit a maximum of 27.
Other states will cop the worst of the heat in the next couple of days with Adelaide expected to be hotter on Thursday than any of the days during the last heatwave, as forecast maximum temperatures climb into the mid-40s
The interior of Australia, western NSW and north-west Victoria will all see temperatures over 40 degrees over the next few days.
Adelaide will see relief on Friday, Melbourne heat will peak on Friday – with a cool change arriving after that. On the weekend the heat will shift to eastern NSW and western Sydney.
Meanwhile, the NSW Rural Fire Service has flown a Large Air Tanker to Tasmania to join the firefighting effort, as ‘challenging conditions’ await the island state over the next few days.
“When we see elevated temperatures and windy conditions we could see those fire dangers also increase, on Thursday in South Australia and Friday into Victoria and Tasmania,” said BOM senior meteorologist Grace Legge.
Among the more obvious pieces of advice such as keeping up water intake and making sure your fridges and air conditioners work, NSW Health also recommends putting together a small emergency kit to overcome possible power failure, avoiding dark reflective curtain linings or metal Venetian blinds (as they absorb heat) and checking that your home can be properly ventilated without compromising security.
People on heavy medication should discuss with their GP how their medication could affect their health in the heat, as many prescribed medications can make the risk of heat-related illness worse.
Mr Sharpe warned that stronger winds could mean an increased risk of bushfires.
‘Winds will pick up on Friday and that looks like the most dangerous fire day for the southeast with severe to extreme danger,’ he said.
However, a tropical cyclone expected in the north could bring rain to northern and central Western Australia, which could eventually result in cooler temperatures in the southeast.
AUSTRALIA’S FORECAST: THE WEEK AHEAD IN YOUR CITY
TUESDAY: Min 22, Max 30, Mostly sunny
WEDNESDAY: Min 23, Max 30, Partly cloudy
THURSDAY: Min 21, Max 28, Partly cloudy
FRIDAY: Min 22, Max 31, Mostly sunny
SATURDAY: Min 24, Max 33, Mostly sunny
TUESDAY: Min 18, Max 37, Partly cloudy
WEDNESDAY: Min 20, Max 35, Shower or Two
THURSDAY: Min 16, Max 33, Mostly sunny
FRIDAY: Min 17, Max 39, Hot and sunny
SATURDAY: Min 23, Max 39, Hot and partly cloudy
TUESDAY: Min 18, Max 28, Mostly sunny
WEDNESDAY: Min 17, Max 22, Windy
THURSDAY: Min 16, Max 23, Shower or Two
FRIDAY: Min 13, Max 26, Sunny
SATURDAY: Min 14, Max 29, Sunny
TUESDAY: Min 23, Max 32, Mostly sunny
WEDNESDAY: Min 23, Max 34, Partly cloudy
THURSDAY: Min 23, Max 34, Partly cloudy
FRIDAY: Min 23, Max 33, Partly cloudy
SATURDAY: Min 23, Max 33, Partly cloudy
TUESDAY: Min 18, Max 30, Mostly sunny
WEDNESDAY: Min 18, Max 25, Partly cloudy
THURSDAY: Min 17, Max 38, Hot and sunny
FRIDAY: Min 27, Max 41, Hot
SATURDAY: Min 20, Max 29, Possible shower
TUESDAY: Min 20, Max 37, Very hot and sunny
WEDNESDAY: Min 21, Max 39, Very hot and sunny
THURSDAY: Min 28, Max 44, Very hot
FRIDAY: Min 25, Max 33, Partly cloudy
SATURDAY: Min 18, Max 30, Possible shower
TUESDAY: Min 16, Max 30, Sunny
WEDNESDAY: Min 14, Max 19, Early Shower or Two
THURSDAY: Min 13, Max 26, Partly cloudy
FRIDAY: Min 18, Max 33, Hot and Partly Cloudy
SATURDAY: Min 17, Max 23, Possible late shower
TUESDAY: Min 25, Max 31, Shower or two, Possible storm
WEDNESDAY: Min 25, Max 31, Rain and Storm Likely
THURSDAY: Min 25, Max 31, Rain and Storm Likely
FRIDAY: Min 25, Max 32, Rain and Storm Likely
SATURDAY: Min 25, Max 32, Possible storm
Source: Bureau of Meterology