SUMMER is going to start with a bang on Saturday when the thermometer is expected to hit 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of the North West.
The heat has been building all week, with temperatures in the low to mid 30s.
Yesterday, just before 4pm, it was 32 in Tamworth, 35 in Gunnedah, Moree was 34.4 and the hottest place in the state’s north was Mungindi with 36.
The Tablelands were a more pleasant option, with 27 in Armidale and 26 in Tenterfield, while Narrabri recorded 29.4 mid-afternoon.
Today will be warmer again and by tomorrow Tamworth area temperatures will hit a top of 39 and on Saturday 40, with a minimum of 22.
The Weather Channel’s Dick Whitaker said yesterday by Sunday afternoon things should start to cool down with possible late showers that will continue into Monday with a top of 33.
Mr Whitaker said the heat was caused by a slow-moving low-pressure trough extending from the Northern Territory down into South Australia and into south-west NSW with northerly winds pushing hot air ahead of it.
The only rain around in the next week would come from possible storms last night and early this morning and the few showers forecast for Sunday and Monday, he said.
Tomorrow and Saturday will be mostly sunny.
Mr Whitaker said the forecast heatwave was well above the November and December averages for the area, with an average November range of 13-28 degrees and for December 16-31.
It will also challenge Tamworth’s record temperatures for November and December.
On November 19, 1968, the area sizzled with a top of 42.2 and in 1965, on December 30, the thermometer soared to 41.6.