Severe heatwave for Australia Day with little reprieve from hot weather

If you're tired of the heat in Canberra, there's bad news.

The city will swelter through another severe heatwave over the Australia Day long weekend, before a weak cool change brings only slight reprieve from hot temperatures on Sunday and Monday.

The temperature is set to reach 39 degrees on Friday and 40 degrees on Saturday, with the chance of afternoon thunderstorms for both days.

Canberrans enjoy the Australia Day concert at Regatta Point in 2018 under the sun. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Canberrans enjoy the Australia Day concert at Regatta Point in 2018 under the sun. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast severe heatwave conditions for the capital for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Low intensity heatwave conditions will continue into next week.

A weak change late on Saturday and another slightly stronger cool change on Sunday should see Monday temperatures drop down closer to 30 degrees.

In January, 19 out of 24 days so far have recorded temperatures over 30 degrees. Canberra is currently forecast to experience 17 days in a row above 30 degrees.

Since Christmas Day, only five days have recorded maximum temperatures below 30 degrees in the ACT.

But it's not as bad as South Australia, where the Adelaide temperatures reached over 46 degrees on Thursday. Port Augusta reached temperatures over 48 degrees.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rebecca Farr said the weather systems over NSW and the ACT were not changing significantly, so similar weather patterns were occurring over and over again.

"To get more variable weather, we've got to have strong cold fronts coming through and essentially changing the air mass we''ve got over the state or the territory.

"However, we're not having that so that heat's not getting flushed out and we're just seeing the same thing," she said.

Ms Farr said no strong cold fronts had moved through NSW for quite some time.

"That's what's really been seeing this hot air mass remain over the ACT and NSW and keeping [the region] in heatwave conditions."

Hot daytime temperatures have given away to afternoon storms, with hail hitting Tuggeranong on Wednesday afternoon.

"During the day we can see that the ground heats the air above it, the air rises and that can help initiate thunderstorms if the air mass has enough water and instability in it," Ms Farr said.



The weather bureau has forecast a possible thunderstorm on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.