HEATWAVE: Soaring temperatures for at least a week
THE first big heatwave of the summer has hit and is set to bring scorching temperatures for the next week, sending the mercury and fire risks soaring as it develops.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, more than a third of the state has severe heatwave forecast for today.
While the Northern Rivers is out of the zone at the moment, heatwave conditions look to increase to extreme through north-west NSW from Sunday and continue into next week.
BoM forecaster, Rebecca Kamitakahara, said while temperatures are high, moderate sea-breezes along the coast will hold off the heatwave for the region which other parts of the state are experiencing.
But she said that was set to change next week.
"We could see those heatwave conditions reaching the Northern Rivers and at that point we could see temperatures heat up to the mid to high 30s towards the middle of next week," Ms Kamitakahara said.
"All these hot temperatures are the result of a persistent and strong high-pressure system sitting over the Tasman Sea, and that's blocking the movement of any cold fronts across New South Wales which allows the heat to steadily increase."
"We're not seeing any cold fronts moving across the state to clear out the hot air mass so it will keep heating."
She said residents could experience some relief from a cold front moving in at the end of next week, but before then Casino residents are in for a harsh week with temperatures soaring into the mid 30s until early next week where it could reach 38C on Tuesday and 40C Wednesday.
Lismore is also set to swelter and can expect temperatures above 30C for the next seven days, reaching up to 36C on some days.
Maximum temperatures for Lismore are predicted as 31 today and tomorrow, sitting on 30 over the weekend before increasing next week, reaching up to 34C on Tuesday and 36C Wednesday.
Closer to the coast, Byron Bay and Ballina get some relief from sea breezes but can expect temperatures to sit on 29C until next Tuesday where it shoots above 30C, reaching 32C on Wednesday.
Stay sun safe
Cancer Council advise when the UV level is 3 or above there is a need to protect our skin using all measures: at least SPF30+ sunscreen, a sun-safe hat and clothing, utilising shade and, if possible wearing sunglasses.
The UV index for the next week is listed by BoM as 13 (extreme).
Along with the higher temperatures, fire risks can be expected to rise later in the week.
The current fire danger rating is "high" for Far North Coast, according to the Rural Fire Service.
Byron Bay - 29C
Ballina - 29C
Lismore - 31C
Casino - 34C
Kyogle - 34C