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Canberra
Saturday, February 27, 2021

Heatwave to sweep across Canberra this weekend

With today reaching a top of 27oC, it’s the day to get your outdoor time in before Australia Day, with a heatwave headed for Canberra that’s expected to extend well into next week.

With the mercury due to hit 31oC tomorrow and 33oC on Friday, over the weekend it’s going to soar to 37oC on Saturday, 38oC on Sunday and then 39oC or possibly 40oC on Monday before dropping down to 29-30oC come Australia Day.

BOM meteorologist Stephen Stefanac told Canberra Weekly that the heatwave ahead is going to bring to hottest weather we’ve seen in the region post-winter 2020.

“The temperature forecast for Canberra over the weekend will be the hottest temperatures since November last year; on the 28th it hit 35.3oC,” he said.

It’s also predicted to be the warmest weather we’ve had this month, with last week’s heatwave peaking at 34.5oC on 13 January being the current record.

He said the average January maximum temperature for Canberra is 28.5oC (31.7oC in 2020).

And while the weather will bring the heat, it’s still not going to get close to Canberra’s record high for January, which was 44.0oC recorded last summer on 4 January 2020.

“It was much hotter last warm season,” Mr Stefanac said. “This one is a milder warm season, and these maximum temperatures over the weekend will be the hottest this summer.”

As we then move through the remainder of summer into autumn, Mr Stefanac said we can expect to see the weather revert to what we’ve seen for the majority of this warm season; average temperatures and above average rainfall due to La Nina.

“There doesn’t seem to be any strong signal to expect warmer than average temperatures,” he said. “There will still be some cooler days and some hotter days, like this hot spell coming.

“As far as rainfall, again over three-month period late summer early autumn is still a moderately high chance of having wetter than average conditions.”

With people sure to be looking for ways to beat the heat over the coming days, Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre manager John Raut said patronage has been “reasonable” since they reopened on 14 December.

“As the weather’s heated up we’ve been reasonably busy,” he said. “It’s been fairly steady, we’re not a really busy facility here.”

While taking a dip is always a hit during a heatwave, Canberra’s only ice skating centre has also proved a popular respite since the mercury soared earlier this month.

“The ice rink has been good since we’ve resumed trading, but the pool had virtually no patronage until recently,” Mr Raut said.

With a 250-person limit in place for the rink, it’s been drawing crowds since December. 

“It’s meeting our expectations, not overcrowded, but it’s certainly nice and cool in there,” Mr Raut said.

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