It’s time to dust off the blow up pools and pump up the air-con because summer is here, finally!
Australians are in for a scorcher of a season, with one of the strongest El Niños on record set to bring heatwaves, bush fires and droughts.
We have already seen an increase in out-of-control bush fires in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria in the past month – with three people losing their lives and dozens injured.
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Today there are total fire bans in place across New South Wales with temperatures in excess of 35 degrees.
Potential effects of the El Niño on Australia include reduced rainfall, warmer temperatures, a shift in temperature extremes, increased frost risk, reduced tropical cyclone numbers, later monsoon onset, increased fire danger in southeast Australia and decreased alpine snow depths.
The El Niño also means that we are predicted to get our rainfall in severe storms rather than showers.
A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for the entire Melbourne metropolitan area today, with winds predicted to reach up to 100 km/h in the next few hours.
Residents are being reminded to ensure they are ready for the storm season with an emergency kit.
If you want to create a kit yourself, essential items include:
– non-perishable food and water, personal hygiene items and essential medications
– torch and extra batteries
– communications such as battery radio and spare batteries, mobile phone and charger
– important documents in a sealed plastic bag
– first aid kit