Christmas, Boxing Day climate: Heatwave warning in SA, Victoria and Tas

After shivering through an unusually cold start to summer, southern Australia is expecting a heatwave after Christmas.

Adelaide will be particularly hot with severe heatwave conditions forecast from Christmas until at least Tuesday.

Sky Weather meteorologist Alison Osborne said daytime and night-time temperatures would both be “considerably above average”.

“It is expected this heat will shift towards the southeast by the end of this year so we’re really seeing quite the turnaround after a rather cool start to December for many parts of the country,” Ms Osborne said.

Victoria even experienced its coldest summer temperature on record last week.

In Adelaide, the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting temperatures to reach 32C on Christmas Day, 37C on Boxing Day and 41C on Tuesday. The current outlook has the maximum temperature dropping to 34C on Wednesday.

Christmas Day in Melbourne is expected to get to 29C and 30C on Boxing Day. Tuesday and Wednesday have a top of 36C forecast.

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Further south in Hobart, 26C is expected on Christmas Day, 22C on Boxing Day, 28C on Tuesday and 27C on Wednesday.

A heatwave is categorized as hotter than average temperatures for more than three days in a row.

BOM’s official three-day heatwave forecast for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday shows a low-intensity to severe heatwave stretching across five states: Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and NSW.

“Severe to low-intensity heatwave over large areas of SA, southeast WA, western and southern NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. Low intensity heatwave over localized inland parts of Gascoyne,” BOM’s heatwave service warns.

While Perth is forecast to reach 36C on Thursday and Friday, temperatures will drop closer to Christmas.

A top of 31C is forecast for Christmas Day, 28C on Boxing Day, 27C on Tuesday and 30C on Wednesday.

Sydney’s Christmas will likely reach 28C, a top of 27C can be expected on Boxing Day, followed by 25C and 27C on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Canberra is expecting maximum temperatures of 31C, 31C, 30C and 31C across the four days, respectively.

Stormy weather will clear the southeast of the country by Saturday, making it hot and dry, but further north it’s a different story.

Looking at the eastern states, there will still be rain in NSW’s northern ranges and up into Queensland.

“There is quite a high chance of showers over Brisbane, the Gold Coast and inland parts of southeastern Queensland on Christmas Day,” Ms Osborne said.

“Heavy rainfall is zoning in at this stage over the coast between the Whitsundays and Herbert and Lower Burdekin, so that means between Townsville and Mackay it is going to be quite the drenching Christmas Day.”

The Northern Territory is also in for “very heavy” rain on Christmas and Boxing Day.

The eight day rain total forecast shows falls of over 200mm are possible stretching from Darwin to Kununurra.

As for temperatures, Darwin’s Christmas and Boxing Day forecast is 32C and 33C, respectively. Brisbane is looking at a top of 30C and 29C.

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