Summerland Christian College student Amber Smith, 16, with fellow students (from left) Katie Brooks, 17, Natasha Anderson, Jen Jacobsen, 17, Anastasia Baxter, 17, and Luke Davy-Goldsworthy, 17, at the annual swimming carnival at the Lismore Memorial Baths.
Summerland Christian College student Amber Smith, 16, with fellow students (from left) Katie Brooks, 17, Natasha Anderson, Jen Jacobsen, 17, Anastasia Baxter, 17, and Luke Davy-Goldsworthy, 17, at the annual swimming carnival at the Lismore Memorial Baths. Marc Stapelberg

January meltdown to continue through February

BUCKLE down, Northern Rivers. Our sweaty, muggy summer is set to continue, perhaps all the way until April.

In January Lismore's maximum temperatures were two degrees hotter, Ballina one degree and Casino 2.5 degrees than average.

"For a whole month that's a decent anomaly," Bureau of Meteorology climatologist, David Martin, said.

"The seasonal outlook is favouring warmer (and drier) conditions over the next few months."

Combining December and January temperatures from Weatherzone data, Lismore saw 13 days over 35 degrees when it usually sees about five.

Casino saw an impressive 23 days over 35 compared to its usual seven days, while Ballina saw three days compared to the typical one day.

The start of February saw no sign of relief either.

Two of the seven days were above 35 in Lismore and another two days are predicted this week.

"The lowest you'll be getting is dropping just below 30," duty forecaster Jordan Notara said.

"So Wednesday onwards winds throughout the day will cool things down slightly."

Then it will be up to 37 on Saturday and 39 on Sunday in Lismore, 34 and 36 degrees in Ballina, and two days of 41 degrees in Casino.

Although early days, February looks to be a clear contender for becoming the hottest on record.

The hottest recorded February was in 1978 with a mean maximum of 31.3 degrees, according to Weatherzone.

This week NSW Police issued a reminder about staying safe in the heat.

"Everyone needs to take care in hot weather, but some people are at higher risk of heat illness, especially if they are older, live alone or are socially-isolated," a statement to the media read.

It reminded people to stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and sugary drinks, limit physical activity, stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, wear light clothing, regularly check the forecast and think about who might need your help in the extreme heat.

Those using medication should also seek advice from their doctor about the effect of heat.



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