Prepare for a Christmas heatwave
CHRISTMAS is just around the corner and forecasters have firmed up on their predictions for what the festive weather gods have in store. One word sums it up: heat.
Some capitals could see runs of days all with maximums higher than 30C, further inland expect more like 40C.
It's been a tumultuous run-up to the Christmas break and some of that instability is still around, said Sky News Weather channel meteorologist Tom Saunders.
"In the lead-up to Christmas, there will be further showers and storms for eastern Australia including Sydney.
"However, that activity will not be as widespread as during last week where we've had a massive amount of rain and flash flooding from Hobart all the way to Cape York."
As Christmas comes around, Santa may have a weather gift in his sack - a welcome window of calm conditions.
"All of the models are predicting a ridge of high pressure for southern Australia for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day," Mr Saunders said.
High-pressure systems generally lead to dry conditions and the sheer size of the ridge means its effects could be felt from Tasmania all the way to southern Queensland and southern Western Australia.
Approaching Christmas, the BOM has forecast heatwaves across swathes of Queensland, the Northern Territory and down into much of NSW.
Spare a thought for the good people of Bourke, in far west NSW, who will have to suffer through the next three days north of 40C with 46C on Thursday. Winton, like much of the Queensland interior, will be on 44C on Thursday.
Mr Saunders said South Australia was likely to be the most toasty place on Christmas Day itself with Adelaide on 35C. Perth and Far North Queensland are also likely to be as hot as a Christmas turkey straight from the oven.
It will be wetter in Northern Australia, with the remnants of tropical Cyclone Owen still likely to be whipping up some rain.
"Over the next couple of days, Owen will go back north again (towards Cairns) but it's not expected to develop back into a cyclone," he said.
"There's a chance of showers but just regular wet season storms and it won't be enough rain to cause further flooding."
CHRISTMAS WEATHER AROUND THE CAPITALS
In terms of temperatures, Christmas Day is looking generally warm, in some places very hot, across the south of the country with sunny days and blue skies.
Christmas Day in Sydney is looking like an above average 27C and sunny with temperatures slowly creeping up to that point in the days beforehand.
The BOM has Canberra on 32C and sunny on December 25.
It will be partly cloudy and 29C in Melbourne on Tuesday and a hot 31C on Christmas Eve.
Hobart should be 24C and partly cloudy on Christmas Day.
In Adelaide, the high pressure system could see the mercury top out at a blistering 35C on a sunny Christmas Day. Perth is not far behind on 34C. It will be a heatwave in the Western Australian capital with around six days above 30C, reaching 39C on Saturday. Darwin looks like 34C and stormy.
Finally Queensland, and the BOM has Brisbane on 29C and partly cloudy for Christmas Day. Northern Queensland could be wet though with Cairns copping up to 25mm of rain on Christmas Day with a high of 31C, its seventh day above 30C. Townsville will also be at 31C but with less rain forecast.
So, generally warm and dry for Christmas and with some areas sweltering in a heatwave.
But what if you're looking for somewhere nice and cold, somewhere with a bit of winter chill for that proper northern Europe Christmas feel?
Mr Saunders has some advice: "It's always cool on the top of Mt Kosciuszko."