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Fears loom for a perfect storm of heat and winds

Date

Louis Andrews

It only gets hotter from here.

The mercury is set to climb once again for the remainder of the week, culminating in the potential perfect storm of heat and winds emergency services are fearing for Saturday.

Thermometers are tipped to reach 31 degrees again on Thursday and 36 on Friday before rising again to 37 the following day.

But a Bureau of Meteorologist duty forecaster on Wednesday said things weren't looking as bad for Saturday as they had for Tuesday's 38-degree horror day.

''The wind probably won't be as strong,'' he said.

Tuesday's strong winds and sweltering heat put firefighters on full alert, as conditions mirrored those of January 2003 when fire swept through the western suburbs of Canberra.

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Gusts reached a top speed of 83km/h on Tuesday, knocking down trees and branches, and prompting more than more than 160 calls to the Emergency Services Agency.

West to north-westerly winds for Saturday are expected to blow less ferociously, up to 35km/h before dropping off during the evening.

But then the cycle will begin again as another warn front moves through, dropping back down to 29 degrees on Sunday with a chance of rain, before slowly creeping into the low 30s on Monday and Tuesday.

The forecaster said the cycle would continue ''probably for the forseeable future unless we change the situation in central Australia, and the high pressure system there''.

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