Weatherzone: ACT storm tracker



Canberra should brace for its hottest spell of weather since last summer, as Christmas Day shapes up to be hopefully a fine, warm day.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Sean Carson said it was still early to accurately predict the weather for Christmas Day, but current models suggested the temperature would likely be in the high-20s. His tip was for a mostly fine day.

Heating up ... Canberra's will looking to cool off this week as hot weather rolls in.

Heating up ... Canberra's will looking to cool off this week as hot weather rolls in. Photo: Graham Tidy

But a lot depended on the timing of changes forecast to hit the capital through the week in the lead-up to Christmas, as a mass of hot air makes its way to the east coast.

“We’re in for a really hot spell now. We’ve seen the hot weather in Perth over the last week watching the cricket. It’s gradually drifting east,” Mr Carson said.

“We’re in for a really hot week, our hottest week thus far for the season. There should be a cool change early next week.”

Mr Carson said the weather would warm up through the week - temperatures were expected to reach 30 degrees or more every day from Tuesday.

Friday was currently expected to hit 36 degrees, but Mr Carson said that could get as high as 38 degrees if the conditions were right. The weekend weather would depend on whether cool breezes from the east or hot air from the west dominated over Canberra, which would be right on the border of the two competing systems.

A cool change was due sometime on Monday or Tuesday, and Mr Carson said the timing of that change would determine whether Christmas was wet or dry.

But any cool changes over the next two weeks would be short-lived as a large mass of hot air settled in over the east of the nation.

“This hot air is going to become really well established. Any small changes in frontal systems or things like that will only bring short term relief, just bringing in cool easterly air from the coast. But it will quickly be replaced by hot air again,” Mr Carson said.

Mr Carson said Canberra would likely record its second hottest year ever by the end of 2013, and could even challenge for the hottest year on record should the temperature heat up over Christmas and New Year.

The forecast heat comes after a number of severe, isolated storm cells over Canberra over the past few days, including a storm that dumped large amounts of hail and caused damage in parts of the capital’s south on Sunday afternoon.

Forecaster Max Gonzales from Weatherzone said storm conditions would return to Canberra on Monday afternoon, but it was unlikely the capital would see such severe rainfall or hail.

“We’re not expecting much rain fall, but obviously any thunderstorm can bring isolated areas of about 5 to 10mm but in general for the ACT today we’re not expecting to see much rainfall on Monday,” he said.