THE region looks to be escaping the 40- degree heat for the moment, but wait – it’s not far away.
Forecasts for the surrounding areas for the next three days only go as high as the late 30s, with Tamworth forecast to hit a maximum of 36 today, a sizzling 38 tomorrow and on Sunday a slightly cooler 34.
The Weather Channel’s senior meteorologist Dick Whittaker said the heat was reaching the southern states of Victoria and South Australia first due to prevailing northerly winds.
He said the winds had more land to cover before they reached Victoria and South Australia, so they’d bring more heat with them.
Slightly cooler in Armidale, it is predicted to be 28 degrees today, 29 tomorrow and 24 on Sunday.
Glen Innes will also be slightly cooler, today with a predicted 26, 27 tomorrow and on Sunday a very mild 23.
Inverell is expecting 33 degrees today, 34 tomorrow and Sunday 31.
In Narrabri and Moree residents are bracing for 37 today, with only a one- to two-degree drop in the weekend temperatures.
For an overall forecast of the North West Slopes and Plains, a weak trough is stretching from the North West of the state towards the Central Coast and another is moving up the North Coast.
Most nights the temperature will drop to between 15 and 22 degrees, with the days then heating up.
There is a chance of rain late in the weekend from a slow-moving inland trough in the far west, but rainfall isn’t expected to be significant due to an overall dryness of the airmass.
And as for that heatwave hitting other areas of the nation this week, the North West can expect it to strike mid-next week.
South Australia is already suffering sweltering conditions, with the weather system slowly spreading across north west Victoria, western NSW and the southern areas of the Northern Territory.
Next Wednesday is forecast to be the start of the heatwave in Tamworth with a maximum of 41 degrees forecast while Narrabri seems likely to be the hottest location in the region with a whopping 43 degrees. It’s due to stay hot for the remainder of next week into the weekend. Forecasters say the heatwave is due to a lack of cloud cover from a lagging monsoon season.
Temperatures for the country music festival are tipped to be above average, and rainfall below average.