Australian Open 2019: Dangerous heat to peak on Friday

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 22, 2019, 8:38:32 AM EST

A return of intense heat is expected later this week at the 2019 Australian Open.

Temperatures trended upwards on Tuesday; however, the most extreme heat of the tournament is expected on Thursday and Friday.

Players and fans are reminded to wear sunscreen regardless of how hot it is on any given day as the sun's rays remain quite strong during this time of the year.

Aussie 1/22

More seasonable air is forecast for Wednesday, but that relief will be short-lived.

Temperatures are set to rise to around 36 C (97 F) on Thursday before peaking near 38 C (100 F) on Friday. The potential exists for temperatures to climb a degree or two higher on Friday before an afternoon sea breeze causes temperatures to fall.

The impending hot days mean players and fans need to take the necessary precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses. Be sure to drink plenty of water and wear light clothing. Fans should take frequent breaks out of the sizzling sunshine.

Officials will also be closely monitoring the newly developed AO Heat Stress Scale (AO HSS) to determine if the heat will prompt extended breaks for players or a stoppage of play.

The AO HSS has five levels that are calculated based on air temperature, strength of the sun, humidity and wind speed, according to the tournament’s official web site. Such factors are similar in determining the AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature.

The higher the RealFeel® Temperature and level on the AO HSS, the harder it is for a player’s body to cool itself.

The tournament referee can suspend play on outside courts and decide to close the roofs on the major courts when a level 5.0 is recorded. That is not expected to happen unless the temperature reaches 40 C (104 F), according to The Age.

Tennis Jan 18

Spain's Rafael Nadal rests in his chair during his third round match against Australia's Alex de Minaur at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

The AO HSS did not record a high enough level to prompt extended breaks for players earlier this week. Thursday has so far been the hottest day of the tournament, with a high of 32.5 C (90.5 F) registered at Melbourne's Olympic Park.

"The heat later this week should wane in time for the final weekend of play," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

Download the free AccuWeather app to find out more detailed information on the weather anticipated for the 2019 Australian Open.

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