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Old 11-02-17, 21:45   #1
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New Zealand Australia's Heat wave continues!!

Much of Australia is sweltering through an extreme heatwave, which is expected to worsen across the weekend and has the NSW Rural Fire Service warning of fire conditions "worse than Black Saturday".

Key points:

NSW fire authorities warn of "Black Saturday conditions" on Sunday
Beaches close in Queensland as record-breaking temps forecast
End in sight for Victorians with cool reprieve expected

The highest temperature recorded in Australia on Saturday was Ivanhoe in New South Wales at 47.6C — still shy of the statewide record of 49.7C set in 1939 — while Penrith, Forbes and Williamtown all peaked above 45C, breaking local records.

Dozens of other cities and towns across NSW experienced temperatures above 40C throughout the day.

Tarcoola, in South Australia, reached 46.4C just before 4:00pm.
Be prepared for the heat

Heatwaves kill far more people than other natural disasters. ABC Emergency has a checklist of things you can do to be ready.

Fire authorities said the monster hot air mass hovering over NSW had had "a baking effect" on vegetation, which meant extreme warnings would pose major risk on Sunday.

NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons warned conditions in some parts of the state on Sunday may be worse than those that preceded the Black Saturday fires.

"The conditions for Sunday are the worst possible conditions, they are catastrophic — we haven't seen this in NSW to this extent ever," Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

"It's not another summer's day. It's not another bad fire day. This is as bad as it gets."

Meanwhile, AGL Energy on Saturday said it would shut down the Tomago Aluminium Smelter for the second day running to curtail electricity and prevent blackouts across the state, after NSW residents were on Friday warned to cut down their power use to avoid mass blackouts.

AGL took the precautionary measure of shutting down the smelter — responsible for about 10 per cent of the state's electricity consumption — on Friday afternoon.

Heat is on for ACT and QLD

In the ACT, emergency services issued a total fire ban until Sunday and authorities warned they may also be forced to switch off electricity in parts of Canberra in a bid to avoid any disruptions to supplies.

After facing the hottest maximum temperature (41C) of any capital city on Friday, there was no respite for Canberra on Saturday with the mercury reaching the same heights.
The heatwave in your state:

Canberra swelters through second 41C day
Beating the heat: Scientists rate Brisbane's coolest suburbs
Heatwave brings 'off-the-scale' fire danger across NSW
Beaches close in Queensland as record-breaking temps forecast

Many of the territory's reserves and parks were closed because of the fire danger, including Tidbinbilla nature reserve, Mulligans Flat and the Centenary trail.

However, many popular swimming areas were open including the Cotter and Uriarra Crossing.
External Link: Tweet: QPS officer frying an egg on his car

South-east Queenslanders are also experiencing a steamy weekend, with temperatures rising up to 10C above average across the region and through inland towns.

A top of 39C is forecast in Brisbane on Sunday, while tops of 36C are expected on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

BOM forecaster Michelle Berry said temperatures on Sunday looked set to break records across the state.

"We're going to see February records tumbling — for instance Birdsville we have a forecast of about 47C for Sunday, which hopefully will be the top," she said.

Birdsville's expected maximum could set a new record for the hottest February temperature. The state record stands at 46.5C, while Birdsville's hottest February maximum is 46.2C.

On the Gold Coast, several beaches were closed and surf lifesavers were put on high alert as powerful surf and heatwave conditions continued.

But energy researcher Simon Bartlett said the state's power grid was not under any threat because the high uptake of rooftop solar in the southern part of the state had reduced the overall load on the power network.

The link provided shows some great videos of us Auzzies in the heat.

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