Extreme heat wave topples Australia's all-time temperature record for 2nd consecutive day
Dozens of fish were rescued from Lake Numurkah in Victoria, Australia, on Dec. 19, as the lake continued to dry up due to a sweltering heat wave.
A heat wave that began in Perth and the Outback now has a firm grip on much of Australia as records continue to be shattered.
All-time and daily records are in jeopardy across South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria as the dangerous heat builds into Friday.
Based on preliminary reports, Wednesday is now Australia's hottest day on record. Wednesday's average maximum temperature across the country as a whole was 41.9 C (107.4 F), shattering the previous record of 40.9 C (105.6 F) set on Tuesday.
Prior to this week's record-breaking heat, the previous hottest day in Australia was on Jan. 7, 2013, when the average maximum temperature was 40.3 C (104.5 F) according to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology.
Scorching heat on Thursday and Friday may challenge the record yet again this week.
Reports also show a new all-time December high temperature for the country was set on Thursday as Nullarbor, South Australia reached (49.8 C (121.6 F). The old December record was 49.5 C (121.1 F) set in Birdsville on Dec. 24, 1972.
The country's all-time high temperature record for a single location may also be in jeopardy as temperatures soar to near 50 C (122 F) across the interior on Friday. The current record is 50.7 C (123.3 F) set in Oodnadatta on Jan. 2, 1960.
This heat wave will bring life-threatening conditions to millions of people from Adelaide and Melbourne to Canberra and Sydney.
Anyone outdoors during the hottest times of the day will need to drink plenty of fluids and take breaks from strenuous activities to lower the risk for heat-related illnesses.
Children and the elderly will be at the highest risk for heatstroke or heat exhaustion and should stay in air-conditioned locations when possible.
Adelaide and surrounding parts of South Australia will endure a prolonged heat wave this week as temperatures climb to dangerous levels into Friday.
Temperatures soared on Wednesday and Thursday with a high temperature 45 C (113 F) in eastern and northern parts of the city. Temperatures climbed all the way to 43 C (110 F) at the coastline on Thursday.
Temperatures will climb to similar levels on Friday before long-awaited relief finally arrives.
A break in the heat will occur for the weekend as cooler air will sweep across the area Friday night into Saturday along with a brief shower or two.
A high temperature of 25 C (77 F) is forecast for Saturday before warmer air begins to return on Sunday with a high of 29 C (84 F).
Residents of Melbourne will be in for a roller-coaster ride this week as temperatures spike on multiple days.
Temperatures soared to dangerous levels on Wednesday with a high of 40 C (104 F) reported across the city.
A wind shift to the south on Thursday brought a dramatically cooler day to the city with a high temperature of only 25 C (77 F).
Scorching air from the interior will return on Friday for what is expected to be the hottest day of the week with a high temperature of 43 C (109 F).
Much cooler air will settle into the region this weekend and send high temperatures tumbling to around 21 C (70 F).
A lengthy heat wave will grip Canberra into Sunday. Smoke from nearby bushfires will also cause poor air quality.
The core of the heat will settle over the city into Saturday with daily highs at or above 40 C (104 F).
Temperatures will lower slightly on Sunday as clouds increase along with the chance for a few showers. Residents can expect an afternoon high temperature of 28 C (82 F).
Unseasonable warmth will continue next week, but it will not be at the dangerous levels expected in the coming days.
Sydney will escape a prolonged heat wave this week, but a pair of days will still feature dangerous heat.
The first surge of heat scorched the city and surrounding areas Thursday when temperatures peaked near 42 C (108 F) in the city.
Following a break in the heat on Friday, temperatures will soar again on Saturday.
Saturday will feature an extreme contrast in temperatures with highs near 34 C (94 F) at the coast and up to 47 C (116 F) for western suburbs such as Penrith and Richmond.
A prolonged period of seasonable temperatures will follow from Sunday into next week.
The intense heat will also elevate the risk for new bushfires to develop while ongoing firefighting efforts will be hindered.
Tragically, two firefighters were killed when a truck rolled over on the frontline of a bushfire southwest of Sydney. Eight other firefighters in New South Wales have been injured fighting the ongoing blazes.
More than 40 homes were damaged or destroyed in bushfires from Wednesday into Thursday, bringing the total to more than 800 this season.
In an attempt to limit new fires from developing and enhance firefighting efforts, New South Wales has total fire ban in place and has declared a state of emergency through Christmas Day.
Total fire bans have also been put in place for parts of South Australia, the Australia Capital Region, and Victoria into Saturday.
Forecasters say prolonged periods of strong winds are not expected during the heat wave across southeast Australia, but occasionally gusty winds will further enhance the fire threat.
The strongest winds of the week will be from Friday into Saturday as cooler air that will help put an end to the heat wave arrives in parts of South Australia and Victoria.
Wind flow across much of southeast Australia will shift to the south and southeast early next week preventing the intense heat across the Outback from returning to areas from Adelaide to Melbroune, Canberra and Sydney.Report a Typo
For first time in 18 days, no tropical cyclones spinning over the Atlantic, but ...
After a flurry of storms across the basin, an eerie calm has returned. But forecasters have their eyes on one particular spot where the next storm could pop up.
Wildfire blotter: Smoke from Calif. wildfires may have killed more than 1,000 people
Smoke was so intense over California that it turned skies orange and made day look like night. But the overall impact of the smoke is far worse than just those scary images, one study says.
'Thank God for our neighbors': Family relieved that bystanders came to their rescue amid Beta's flooding
While emergency personnel were backlogged with numerous high-water rescues during Tropical Storm Beta's torrential downpours, neighbors and complete strangers quickly jumped into action to help.
The best weather-resistant outdoor furniture
Weather-resistant outdoor furniture is designed to last through all seasons, from the UV rays in the summer to being water-proof and rust-resistant in the colder seasons. Here are our favorites on sale now.
10 essentials to keep in your bag this fall and winter
As cold weather sets in, you want to be prepared. Here are ten essential things to keep in your bag during fall and winter.
AccuWeather School: The case of the shifting sunrises and sunsets
It may surprise you to learn that the sun only rises due east and sets due west on only two days throughout the entire year. AccuWeather School solves this case of the shifting sunrises and sunsets!