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Cold front to save ACT from NSW heatwave

Date

Hamish Boland-Rudder

It's warm, it's a little bit sticky, and it's only going to get warmer tomorrow, the weather bureau has said.

But Canberra will be spared the full brunt of an air mass that will bring soaring temperatures to western NSW.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Katarina Kovacevic said the capital will be saved from the extreme heat by a front forecast to hit the region by about lunchtime on Saturday.

"We're not going to get 45 degree days, or anything like that," Ms Kovacevic said.

"They [western NSW] are getting that sort of extreme heat because the air mass over them is quite warm, but it won't have time to reach us before the front comes through."

Ms Kovacevic said that the warm air being dragged down from the north west moves much slower than the cold front coming across from the south west.

"When we say air mass, we mean a big depth of air - not just the surface air," she said.

"It's like a whole bunch of sky dragging warm air across - it's not something you can do in two days or a day.

"We will see the warmer temperatures, but we won't see the warmest temperatures."

The heatwave set to sweep across parts of NSW in the coming days has prompted a warning about the potentially fatal consequences of spending too much time in the sun.

Temperatures are expected to climb into the high 30s and low 40s in western NSW, western Sydney and the lower Blue Mountains over the weekend.

NSW Health says a heatwave in Sydney in 2011 was responsible for the deaths of 96 people and has urged people to keep an eye out for vulnerable members of the community over the next few days.

With Canberra only forecast to reach 35 degrees tomorrow before a top of 33 degrees on Saturday, ACT Health are not issuing any formal warnings for the capital, but are pointing residents towards a fact sheet on their website with advice on how to avoid heat-related stress.

The short run of warm days will be one of the first strong tastes of a hot summer in three years, Ms Kovacevic said.

"We've really had some average summers," she said. "If you think about 2009, when it was just dry and hot ... we really didn't see that in 2010 or 2011."

The heat will be moderated by a cold front due to hit the capital about lunch time on Saturday. While the temperature won't drop drastically - from a top of 33 degrees on Saturday to a top of 27 degrees on Sunday - Ms Kovacevic said humidity will drop, and Sunday should be a reasonably clear day.

with AAP

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