Australia hit by heatwave as temperatures touch 40C and may rise to 47C

NEW SOUTH WALES, Dec 8: Australia is facing a severe heatwave as temperatures touched 40C (104F) in some parts of the country on Friday.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned that heatwaves will continue into the weekend.

A heatwave warning affects parts of every state and territory except Tasmania, with catastrophic conditions, particularly in South Australia, Anadolu Agency citing ABC News reported.

Authorities also deployed hundreds of firefighters to help extinguish blazes reported in some parts of the country.

“Expect extreme fire dangers across southern South Australia, eastern South Australia, and in north-west Victoria and south-east New South Wales [NSW],” the broadcaster quoted Sarah Scully, a senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, as saying.

She added that strong wind, dry lightning, and extreme heat will increase the fire danger in these states.

The temperature is expected to reach 47C (116.6F) in Woomera and Roxby Downs and 46C (114.8F) in Tarcoola in South Australia, according to the report.

Over 30,000 lightning strikes were recorded in the state during the past 24 hours that caused fire in several areas.

“High fire dangers are forecast to return across broad parts of inland NSW this week due to the building heat,” the Bureau of Meteorology said.

In September, Australia also recorded its hottest winter ever.