National News

Heatwave Service activated to help communities prepare for severe heat

With the warmer months bringing a heightened risk of dangerous heatwaves across Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology has today activated its Heatwave Service to help communities and health agencies prepare for severe conditions.

The Bureau’s Heatwave Service provides a series of forecast maps showing heatwave location and severity across Australia.

The service is activated in October each year and remains active well into autumn.

Bureau of Meteorology manager of Fire Weather, Heatwave and Air Quality Services, Monica Long, said the risk of severe or extreme heatwaves developing would be ever-present across the country in the coming months.

“Heatwaves are an under-rated hazard but research shows that severe and extreme heatwaves have claimed more lives than any other natural hazard in Australia” Ms Long said.

“There are simple actions we can all take to keep ourselves safe during heatwaves. Early preparation is critical, so it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest weather conditions.”

Heatwaves are defined as three or more days in a row when both daytime and night-time temperatures are unusually high for a location.

Any heatwave categorised as severe or higher can be particularly challenging for vulnerable people, who may not be well-placed to respond to or identify the risk of heatwaves, and the sustained heat can have flow-on impacts for infrastructure.

“This year we have launched a Heatwave Knowledge Centre to provide extra information to the Australian community including heatwave forecast maps to enable people to better prepare for heatwave conditions and their impacts.

“Always listen to the advice of local health authorities and emergency services. And remember – Know your weather, Know your risk.”

The Bureau’s Heatwave Service provides a series of seven maps, each showing heatwave location and severity for a three-day period.

The Heatwave Service is available on the Bureau’s website: www.bom.gov.au/australia/heatwave 

The Heatwave Knowledge Centre is available at: www.bom.gov.au/australia/heatwave/knowledge-centre

For the latest forecasts and warnings, visit www.bom.gov.au or download the Bureau’s App.

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