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The potential November heat record of 40c in Perth on Saturday ( 13 above average ) is being driven by a west coast trough dragging intense heat from the north-west all the way south. The north-west region has seen elevating heat for a number of days and it is about to enter an official extreme heatwave, as defined by the BoM.  At 11am it is 34.8c in Perth. 

There doesn't appear to be any connection between the heat in the west and the hot and windy day yesterday which resulted in severe bushfires in the east. Many of these fires are flare-ups from existing hot spots which have been burning for several weeks in unprecedented drought conditions. There were no temperature records yesterday but it was windy and the humidity was very low. A few minutes ago the NSW Fire Service reported 150 homes destroyed, 2 deaths, 7 people missing. This appears to be the worst bushfire incident in terms of property destruction in Australia since the Blue Mountains bushfires in New South Wales in October 2013 ( which destroyed 250 homes ). The NSW Fire Commissioner said yesterday: "We are in uncharted territory. We've never seen this many fires concurrently at emergency level". This statement appears in all the media without explanation. It is based on the new bushfire alert system for communities enacted around 2011, following a review of the messaging system after the  Black Saturday fires in Victoria in 2009. So a bad situation and outcome with resources stretched, but no where near unprecedented in the history of bushfires in that state. 

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Hot and windy across the entire state of New South Wales this Tuesday. The NSW Fire Service has just issued a Catastrophic Fire Danger rating for Greater Sydney this Tuesday. This is the first time any major city in Australia has been issued the highest fire danger rating since the new rating system came into place in 2009. It is a threat based warning system based on a formula of weather conditions on the day, and soil moisture levels. Prior to 2009 the highest rating was Extreme - that was an occasional declaration. Catastrophic also means school closures and mass preventative actions including strong advice to leave, prior to any fire activity. How this plays out in Australia's largest city on Tuesday will be interesting. Sydney has a forecast maximum of 37c on Tuesday with winds of 50-75km/hr. 

 

 

 

Edited by Styx

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BoM has released a short video on the "evolving and dangerous" weather situation for New South Wales and Sydney tomorrow which may be of interest.  I should also add humidity levels will be exceptionally low due to the widespread drought. The cold front moving up from the south is intense again explaining the strength of the winds forecast for NSW. There is a very large temperature divergence between the two air masses -  snowfall is forecast to 600m asl in Tasmania and 900m asl in Victoria, for example. Judging by media coverage this evening this upcoming weather event is getting the most amount of attention and tone of foreboding since coverage of Cyclone Yasi in Queensland, in 2011. 

 

 

Edited by Styx

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4pm - No bushfires causing any concern anywhere near Sydney. There are 10 emergency fires in northern New South Wales posing direct threat to towns and communities. The NSW Fire Service web site is frequently updating with new information and the changing status of all the fires.

 

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Edited by Styx

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4 hours ago, Styx said:

4pm - No bushfires causing any concern anywhere near Sydney. There are 10 emergency fires in northern New South Wales posing direct threat to towns and communities. The NSW Fire Service web site is frequently updating with new information and the changing status of all the fires.

 

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Been watching this situation unfold. Worrying. The In-Laws live in Port Macquarie and have family and friends in the Blue Mountains and Sydney. Fingers crossed that the worst is over.

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12 hours ago, stainesbloke said:

Been watching this situation unfold. Worrying. The In-Laws live in Port Macquarie and have family and friends in the Blue Mountains and Sydney. Fingers crossed that the worst is over.

I too sincerely hope so. Have family on north shore of Sydney, northwest near Penrith and in Blue Mountains. My sister has taken her two young granddaughters down to her house as there’s a fire close to their Blue Mountain location, that although under control is still burning. Her own house backs onto the fairway of BIL’s golf club and the bush starts on opposite side of fairway. They’ve had grass fires close to them today but firefighters and volunteers managed to deal with them before they spread. She said her neighbourhood is anxious, not sleeping much, although remaining mostly calm due to the extraordinary efforts of the NSW Rural Fire Service who are instilling confidence and viewed with the highest respect. However, I can’t help remaining concerned for all in the fire areas. 

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