Unusually hot: Temperatures to nudge 30 degrees
NORTHERN NSW is about to get unusually hot for this time of year, with Lismore expecting temperatures more than 4C above average for August.
The warmer weather is set to arrive tomorrow and will be a sharp turnaround from today where temperatures fell to 1C, following the coldest day of the month so far on Monday with -0.2C recorded overnight.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster David Wilke said the Northern Rivers region has been affected by a ridge bringing clear skies which results in heating during day but cooling overnight.
"If there's no cloud cover it's really ideal conditions for the heat to radiate out, which is also the nights where you get the strongest cooling,” Mr Wilke said.
But mornings will be warmer as the unusually hot weather settles in, coming on the back of a hot and dry July.
"Lismore and Casino will be heating up during the rest of the week,” Mr Wilke said.
"The average maximum temperature for Lismore is 22.6C and 22.5C for Casino but we will see temperatures exceed this.
"Part of the reason why its heating up is because of strengthening westerly winds.
"We will have warmer conditions for this time of year but it's fairly consistent with the weather pattern we have been seeing (warm days and cool nights).”
The peak in the winter heatwave is expected by Thursday.
Casino is predicted to hit 29C on Thursday which would make it the hottest day of this month so far and 6.6C above average, 27C for Lismore with Ballina expected to hit 26C.
BoM's weather situation reads: "A high pressure system drifting across New South Wales will shift to the Tasman Sea overnight as a cold front approaching from the west.
"Vigorous winds will affect many coastal areas on Wednesday as this front crosses the region, with a new high developing in its wake on Thursday and Friday.
"Another strong cold front looks set to arrive on the weekend.”
RFS: warm and windy conditions tomorrow
The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is urging land managers and property owners to carefully consider conditions before burning off tomorrow, with winds up to 70km/h and temperatures in the mid-20s forecast across the state.
NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said hundreds of firefighters had to respond to dozens of escaped and illegal burns on the weekend when irresponsible landholders lit up in windy conditions.
"It is extremely concerning that so many people lit up and carelessly allowed burns to escape, particularly on a weekend where there were prevailing strong winds and conditions that resulted in three Watch and Act fires threatening homes in the Richmond Valley area,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
"Escaped fires pose a very real and potentially deadly threat to the public, especially if that escaped burn takes hold and fire authorities are not notified, which is why it is important that landholders notify their local Fire Control Centre and their neighbours of their intention to burn.
"Given the prevailing dry conditions, it is also vital that landholders only burn off when it is safe to do so, ensure they have proper and functioning firefighting equipment on hand, make sure they follow the rules and obtain a free Fire Permit, even if they have been carrying out burns for years.”
Heavy fines apply for the unsafe use of fire or if a fire escapes - landholders who fail to notify firefighters and neighbours face fines of up to $5,500 and/or 12 months jail while escaped fires attract penalties of up to $110,000 and/or five years prison.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons said fire investigators would review recent illegal fire and escaped burn incidents to determine if legal action is required
The Bush Fire Danger Period (BFDP) has commenced in the Armidale Regional, Clarence Valley, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha Local Government Areas, meaning landholders must obtain a free Fire Permit before lighting up.
"Don't be the fire risk to your community, know your obligations if conducting burns and know the costs if you do the wrong thing, but most importantly, if a fire does get out of hand, make sure you report it immediately to Triple Zero (000),” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
Information about hazard reduction burning and required notifications is available on the NSW RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/BFDP.