Australians Swelter Under Heat Amid Bushfires and Looming Cyclone

A woman swims with her dog at Sydney’s Bondi beach as temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) are expected to hit parts of eastern Australia, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023. Heatwave warnings are in place across parts of all mainland states in Australia, with extreme to catastrophic fire danger alerts issued on Friday for sections of South Australia, northern Victoria, outback NSW and Greater Sydney.

Mary ManleyTropical cyclone Jasper has intensified into a category 4 system as of Friday. However, the timing of when the cyclone will hit the north Queensland coast remains up in the air. But one thing is for certain: Australians are feeling the heat.On Saturday, heat warnings were in effect in several states and territories. Temperatures in New South Wales climbed to over 43 Celsius (109 Fahrenheit), and similar temperatures burned high at the Sydney airport and Badgerys Creek.Some schools in Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, were forced to shut down and a total fire ban was in place for some parts of the state due to the surmounting risk of bushfires, and there were plenty of those: by 4 PM there were at least 85 bushfires burning across New South Wales, with 38 of those not having been contained according to the state’s Rural Fire Service.“With hot north-westerly winds driving temperatures up across most of the state, our crews are facing challenging conditions,” the fire service wrote on X.Beyond PoliticsNearly Half of Earth’s Land May Change Climatic Zone by 21009 May 2023, 18:55 GMTHowever, cooler air was expected to arrive between 6 PM and 8 PM on Saturday, with temperatures dropping to 10 Celsius.

“Sydney is going to see a bit of relief going into Sunday with the cool change, but it’s going to struggle to penetrate inland,” said Miriam Bradbury, from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Jasper, a severe tropical cyclone that intensified into a category 4 system on Friday, is now threatening the northern coast of Australia. The storm brings with it maximum winds of 220 kilometers per hour (138 mph), and is located 1,195 kilometers (742 miles) northeast of Queensland while moving south at 9 kph (6 mph). By early Tuesday, the storm could strike the coast near Cairns, the 5th most populous city in Queensland.

WorldDeath Toll From Storm Ciaran in Western Europe Rises to 154 November 2023, 09:37 GMTThe storm is the earliest of its category to hit the Australian region in 18 years. Its arrival is unusually early during the climate pattern El Niño, making it the first tropical cyclone to form off Queensland’s coast in December during an El Niño weather pattern. El Niño, a system that has been affecting weather across the globe this year, is not forecasted to end until March of 2024 by the latest, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).“Further intensification Friday is possible, and a category 5 system cannot be ruled out,” the country’s bureau warned.Senior meteorologist Angus Hines clarified that it will likely weaken to a category two system by Monday, but could intensify on Wednesday. Forecasters add that the storm’s current path is subject to change.“Wherever Jasper crosses it will be a significant weather event likely to bring damaging to destructive winds, heavy persistent rain that will lead to flooding, a storm surge along the coast and very dangerous conditions out over the water with large waves,” Hines said.AmericasPhotos: ‘Nightmare Scenario’ as Powerful Category 5 Hurricane Otis Slams Into Mexico25 October 2023, 21:32 GMT


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