After sweltering through extreme temperatures last week, parts of Western Australia are once again bracing for a heatwave set to last until at least next week.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) defines a heatwave as a three-day period of unusually hot temperatures, taking into account past temperatures and climate data for that location. This is not based solely on maximum temperatures, but also nightly minimums and the number of hours of extreme heat during the day.
According to the BOM, most of WA’s west coast will endure a “severe” heatwave from Wednesday until at least Friday, with forecasts suggesting that the heat will endure until after the weekend. The BOM classifies severe heatwaves as infrequent and potentially dangerous for vulnerable people, including elderly people and those living with medical conditions.
Among the worst-hit areas will be:
- Exmouth (seven consecutive days over 40ºC, from Wednesday to Tuesday)
- Marble Bar (maximum of 46ºC on Monday)
- Badgingarra (maximum of 45ºC on Saturday).
According to the University of Sydney’s HeatWatch app, during severe heat episodes people should:
- Drink water every hour
- Drape a wet towel around their neck
- Rest in shaded areas where possible
- Avoid strenuous exercise.