2019 coming in hotter than ever
Get ready to bring in 2019 in a pool of sweat, because forecasters say the heatwave most Aussies have been struggling with is due to stick around for at least another week.
Sky News chief meteorologist Tom Saunders told news.com.au most parts of the country can expect a traditional Aussie New Year's Eve with hot, sticky conditions forecast for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and Adelaide.
Hobart will also see a relatively normal New Year's Eve with temperatures forecast in the high 20s while Darwin, in the middle of its wet season, will experience a hot and humid night with potential for thunderstorms.
And if you're spending the first day of 2019 at the beach, New Year's Day is also forecast to be hot, dry and sunny across much of the country.
Despite the sunny forecast for Australia's capitals, other parts of the country are dealing with catastrophic heatwaves, possible floods, fires and cyclones.
Much of southern Australia has also spent the end of the year experiencing temperatures 10-14C higher than usual for this time.
"The whole country is stuck in what's called a blocking pattern, which is a stagnant weather pattern where most places are seeing the same weather every day," Mr Saunders said.
"The blocking high pressure system is sitting in the Tasman Sea, and it's been there since Monday and is forecast to stay at least another week.
"It's not really changing and it's not moving which means that heatwave is going to stick around until at least mid-next week."
Queenslanders could soon be bracing for the first cyclone of the season, as a monsoon trough develops over the north of the continent.
Sky News chief meteorologist Tom Saunders said there was potential for a cyclone in Far North Queensland for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, with the same region warned to expected heavy rain.
December monthly rainfall records have already been shattered in the Far North, but more "significant falls" are expected leading into 2019, prompting flood warnings for the Daintree River and flood watches for the Mossman, Mulgrave and Russell rivers.
Mr Saunders said other parts of Queensland, including Brisbane and the Gold Coast, were experiencing temperatures only a couple of degrees hotter than normal.
In Brisbane, the mercury is tipped to hit 31C as Aussies farewell 2018 and say hello to 2019.
Melbourne has been sweltering through a sticky heatwave but relief finally came early this morning when the Victorian capital was hit with a cool change.
The drop in heat was obvious for Melburnians who were struggling through 35C-plus days from before Christmas to seeing a drop of 10C to 25C on December 29.
"The cool change is close to the NSW border so parts of NSW will feel that release also," Mr Saunders said.
Despite the drop in temperature, other parts of the state are still expected to sweat into 2019, keeping emergency services on their toes.
Hot, dry conditions mean severe fire danger warnings are in place for the Mallee, Wimmera and northern country districts, including Mildura, Swan Hill, Kerang and Echuca where the temperature could reach 44C.
NEW SOUTH WALES
The millions of people headed to Sydney's world-famous fireworks are in for a sweaty night with the lengthy December heatwave showing no signs of letting up for New Year's Eve.
"We're in the middle of a heatwave at the moment in much of Australia - December 28 is day five of the heatwave and there's no sign of a cool change before New Year's Eve. New Year's Day will be day nine of that heatwave," Mr Saunders said.
"We won't see a cool change until the middle of next week, it could be after that or another full week."
Mr Saunders said there was no significant rain forecast for NSW and Sydney but there was potential for afternoon and evening thunderstorms from December 31.
"It certainly won't be like the thunderstorms from earlier this month but we could see places like Western Sydney getting storms. Despite that, the key feature of the weather heading into New Year's will be the ongoing heat," Mr Saunders said.
The mammoth nationwide heatwave hit South Australians the hardest, with dozens of December heat records toppled leading up to New Year's.
Catastrophic fire danger kept residents on high alert but the southern parts of the state, including Adelaide finally experienced a cool change late Friday.
Adelaide had its hottest December day since 1931 on December 27 with the mercury hitting 43.7C.
Leaving 2018, Adelaide can expect sunny skies and highs of 30C for New Year's Eve with similar 30C-plus temperatures forecast for the first day of 2019.
It'll be sunny skies for Perth too with Mr Saunders noting the southern part of Western Australia wasn't "going to see much happening at all" on the weather front.
Western Australia wasn't hit with the heatwave much of the east coast has been struggling with for the past week and New Year's will be much of the same sunny, hot conditions.
"There won't be huge variations in the day to day temperatures for Perth," Mr Saunders said.
The end of 2018 and start of 2019 will see the mercury hit the high 20s and low 30s.
Despite the balmy temperatures in the south, the north will be extremely hot with most of the region forecast to hit the mid-40s.
Hobart, alongwith the rest of Tasmania, will say hello to 2019 with average summer weather.
Mr Saunders said the southern state hadn't fallen victim to the sweeping heatwave affecting other states leading up to New Year's Eve and would experience "nothing out of the ordinary" on December 31.
Hobart is forecast to hit 25C on New Year's Eve while the mercury is tipped to peak at 26C on the first day of 2019. The January average for the capital is 22C which puts New Year's Day just above average temperature.
In the middle of its wet season, the Northern Territory is forecast to be lashed with rain and thunderstorms for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Darwin can expect highs of 33C for both days with possible thunderstorms predicted.