Temperatures are forecast to rise above 40 degrees across parts of the country over the coming days after southern Australia experienced its coldest spring in 30 years.
In the surest sign summer has arrived, parts of northwest Australia have already sweltered through the weekend – at times alternating between the high 30s and low 40s in Western Australia.
After a cold and wet season in Victoria, Melbourne’s maximum temperature peaked at 34 degrees on Sunday.
A “heatwave” could push these rising temperatures down into the southeast over the next week, with Queensland forecast to bear the brunt from Tuesday.
But colder air is expected to surge into parts of South Australia and Victoria and insulate the south from these rising temperatures – falling levels to as low as 16 degrees in Melbourne.
The varying change in temperatures come after parts of Victoria and NSW grappled with devastating floods over the past month.
South Australian communities are now preparing for their own flood emergency after the Murray River at Renmark reached the 1974 flood level on Saturday morning.
On Monday, areas inland of Sydney city will reach the mid-30s from Monday before a southerly change takes place.
Temperatures in Sydney itself will hover around the mid-to-high 20s until Thursday, where it is forecast to drop to 21-22 degrees for the remainder of the week.
Sky News meteorologist Rob Sharpe said the southerly change will cool off some of the southern parts of NSW on Tuesday.
“We’re expecting hotter than usual weather across the north … it’s going to stick around as a general rule of thumb for the coming weeks,” he said.
Mr Sharpe said the heat would become much more widespread from January to March.
“We’re seeing a bit of a drying trend as we move into summer,” he said.
“That’s allowing that heating trend to take force as well.”
In Western Australia’s Pilbara region, towns such as Marble Bar could reach up to 45 degrees from Monday to Wednesday.
Winds will transport hot air from the northwest down to the southeast ahead of troughs and cold fronts sweeping across the country, a Weatherzone spokesman said.
“An additional cold front later in the week will keep temperatures on the cool-to-mild side over southeast Australia, however eastern Australia will see temperatures rise before they fall,” the spokesman said.
“The trough will continue barrelling across the east of the country next week ahead of a cooler change.”
Brisbane is forecast to endure 35 degree days from Tuesday, before it cools off into the mid-20s on Friday and Saturday as forecast showers roll in.
Melbourne and Adelaide will both benefit from the cool air down south as temperatures return to 20 and 23 degrees respectively from Monday.