The mercury in Sydney’s CBD was at almost 28C at 5am on Friday setting up a blisteringly hot Australia Day on the east coast.

The forecast is for a high of 38C in the Harbour City today and 40C in Sydney’s west as a heatwave envelops much of New South Wales.

In parts of the NSW Hunter Valley, places like Singleton and Maitland, 43C could be on the cards in punishing weather.

Brisbane and Perth could join Sydney in a 30C plus Australia Day.

Elsewhere in the country, northern Queensland is still being smashed by Cyclone Kirrily with the possibility of damaging winds and intense, flooding rainfall to areas from Townsville to Charters Towers and as far inland as Cloncurry.

While in Victoria and Tasmania it could be far milder and more conducive to a barbecue with highs in the low twenties.

But a change in temperatures is coming to the east as a front pushes through which could see Sydney’s maximums drop by more than 10 degrees from Friday to Saturday.

Australia Day around the country

Australia Day will be hot in Sydney with a high of 38C in the city and 40C in Penrith. It is expected to cool down significantly over the weekend, with a high of 27C on Saturday.

Newcastle could hit 41C, Maitland 42C and Singleton 43C – all areas under the influence of an extreme heatwave.

Inland, Dubbo is looking at a 40C Australia Day as is Tamworth while Taree could get to 41C. Wagga Wagga will be a cool 27C in comparison.

The heat is forecast to linger for much longer in Brisbane which should see 33C on Australia Day and climbing to 37C on Saturday. A cool change is not yet on the cards for the city, with highs in the low-to-mid thirties right through to next week.

Townsville will be a windy 33C on Friday after Cyclone Kirrily passes through. The weekend could see showers.

Perth is expected to be hot this weekend, with a high of 31C forecast on Friday, 33C on Saturday and 28C on Sunday. Temperatures will continue climbing until at least mid-next week, set to reach a high of 38C next Wednesday.

Canberra’s Australia Day should get to a maximum of 28C with similar on the weekend, before temperatures begin to climb again early next week peaking at 33C on Tuesday.

Darwin could have torrential rain this weekend, with a maximum of 170mm forecast with storms between Friday and Monday. But the totals could be a lot lower if the monsoon rains miss the city. The city will also be hot — 29C on Friday and 31C on Saturday and Sunday.

Cool in the south

Melbourne is expected to avoid the heatwave, with highs of 22C forecast on Friday and up to 24C Sunday. The heat is expected to ramp up in the city on Monday when a maximum temperature of 31C is forecast.

It’s a similar situation in Adelaide, where temperate highs of 24C are forecast on Friday and Saturday, before 28C hits on Sunday.

Tasmania is not forecast to be impacted by the heatwave, with showers and a high of 21C in Hobart on both Friday and Saturday. The hottest day in Hobart is expected to be Monday, when the temperature is set to climb to 28C.

– with Chloe Whelan.

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By Rahul

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