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Through the first week of February, heat has been building across Western Australia with high temperatures recently climbing well over 39 C (100 F). As dry conditions remain across the region, the hot spell will continue with dangerous conditions for outdoor activities and elevate the risk for brushfires.
In stark contrast to the cooler-than-average conditions that occurred across western portions of Australia on the first two days of February, highs temperatures through Wednesday will be 6-8 degrees Celsius (10-15 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than normal.
On Monday, the temperature soared to 42.5 C (108 F) in Perth, which was the hottest February day in the city since 1997, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Western Power reported that their system usage reached an all-time high of 4,174 megawatts on Monday, breaking the previous record from January 2012.
The extreme heat will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday with highs expected to reach around 43 C (109 F) both days. AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures will be near 45 C (113 F).
An offshore wind will cause hot, dry conditions to extend right to the coast.
Even hotter conditions will occur to the north of Perth, in the northwestern portion of Western Australia. Highs in this area will hit 46 to 49 C (115 to 120 F).
Brushfires have also developed due to the combination of the heat, dry weather and gusty winds in the afternoon. The threat for additional brushfires will continue through at least Wednesday.
Residents are urged to limit outdoor activity during the afternoon and early evening hours. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
A cold front will cause the wind to become onshore later in the week across southwestern Australia, leading to slightly cooler but still warmer-than-average temperatures.
However, the onshore flow of air will also increase the humidity across the region. As a result, while air temperatures will be a little lower, the increase in humidity will cause RealFeel® temperatures to remain very high.
A positive of the increased humidity will be a lower threat for brushfires while also helping to contain any active fires.
Meteorologists Brian Thompson and Eric Leister contributed content to this story.
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