Cool start to summer as smoke haze lingers
It will be a cool start to summer in Sydney with below-average temperatures on Sunday and Monday as a smoke haze lingers over the city. Temperatures will reach tops of 25 degrees on Sunday and 23 degrees on Monday before warming up to the high 20s and low 30s during the week."It's the first day of summer but it's a bit cooler than what we've seen in the past," Abrar Shabren, a forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology, said.However, Mr Shabren said it is expected to be a warm summer, with little rainfall expected in the coming weeks.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) is gearing up for an intense day of bushfires, many of which are expected to encroach on "more densely or highly populated areas".
All hands are on deck, with the state bracing for hot and gusty winds and temperatures of up to 42 degrees Celsius forecast for Penrith.
Severe fire danger warnings are in place across six regions in NSW.
Hot summer forecast could lead to blackouts in Victoria, energy operator warns
Extreme weather forecast for summer will reduce the reliability of power supply across Australia in the coming months, with ageing coal plants becoming less reliable, the energy market operator warns.In August, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) said a worst-case scenario could see up to 1.3 million Victorian households without power on extreme weather days if supply was not improved and major generators were not repaired.
RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said it would be a "very complex, very difficult day" for firefighters who had been taking advantage of cooler weekend conditions to conduct "critical backburning" to prepare.
Mr Fitzsimmons said hot and dry winds would bring humidity down to less than 10 per cent across a lot of regions.
"We are going to see hot conditions [and] dry atmosphere, particularly dry air mass that's bringing this heat from the centre of Australia," he said.
"Fortunately they're not as strong as what we've been experiencing in the last month.
"The drop in wind strength is being compensated for in the increase in heat."
He said across NSW today, nine areas would have total fire bans in place and there would be more than 2,000 personnel and over 100 aircraft fighting more than 80 fires.
NSW bushfires close in on Sydney from two sides as weather forecast deteriorates
It has been shrouded in in smoke for weeks, but now there are flames in Sydney — with a "mega fire" in the north stretching for 60km and a fast-moving blaze in the south-west raining down embers on several suburbs.A total fire ban has been declared for areas surrounding the Harbour City today as a deteriorating weather forecast has weary authorities on high alert.
"All fires ... are going to be of concern to us, but there are some that are much closer and with greater potential to impact on more densely populated or highly populated areas," he said.
The commissioner said thunderstorm activity was expected, but there would be little rain.
"Not a lot of moisture in it or rainfall, but that means a potential for lots of lightning," he said.
The RFS said at least 2.7 million hectares, with a perimeter of 19,235 kilometres, had been burnt so far this bushfire season.
In real-world terms, you could fit most of the 137 islands which make up the Hawaiian archipelago into the area affected by the NSW fires.
One of the blazes, dubbed the "mega fire", had a fire front of more than 60 kilometres and was a result of five blazes which merged north of Sydney on Friday.
The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today would be a "very dangerous day" for the state and reminded residents to be vigilant.
Hobart boats dealing with bushfire issues
Extra boat cleaning and lighter sea breezes are some of the issues Sydney to Hobart entrants are dealing with because of the bushfires in NSW."The bushfires are making a huge difference to the weather system," said Scallywag skipper David Witt.
"We can't underestimate what it can be like over summer," she said.
"As the conditions get hotter and drier, and also the wind picks up, this again is giving us a taste of what we're likely to experience in the next few months."
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'Extreme' fire warnings issued as NSW braces for smoke, wind and fires .
Premier warns NSW is entering a period of grim uncertainty as a record-breaking heatwave threatens to ramp up bushfires across the state.The Rural Fire Service has issued "extreme" fire warnings for the Sydney, Illawarra/Shoalhaven and Southern Ranges, with the surrounding fire areas all graded as "severe".