MUCH like the rest of the country, Northern NSW is set for a heatwave.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting "severe heatwave" conditions across much of the North Coast over the next three days which in turn has raised the Bushfire Danger Rating which is currently at very high.

BOM duty forecaster Helen Kirkup said there would be some relief for those on the coast, with a north-easterly sea breeze expected to keep temperatures around the 30 degree mark in Coffs Harbour today.

It was a different story for tomorrow, with no north-easterly relief meaning temperatures around the mid 30s.

"The southerly change probably won't reach (Coffs Harbour) until very late on Sunday so will probably be hot for a lot of the day," Ms Kirkup said.

"Once that southerly is through we will get some cooler temperatures on Monday but until the then it will be pretty hot right through."

From Saturday, areas areas of severe heatwave are expected from southwest QLD through to north coastal NSW. Image: Bureau of Meteorology.
From Saturday, areas areas of severe heatwave are expected from southwest QLD through to north coastal NSW. Image: Bureau of Meteorology.

For those living away from the coast, temperatures across the weekend look like being much higher, with potential for inland towns to creep up close to 40 on Sunday.

And areas across the range are expected to experience higher temperatures right through to the middle of next week.

While 30-35 degrees may not seem like a heatwave Ms Kirkup explained they were defined in relation to local climate conditions and past weather patterns.

A heat wave occurs when the maximum and the minimum temperatures are unusually hot over a three-day period.

Meanwhile, the Australian Climate Council is using the spectre of an early-summer heatwave across every state and territory to remind people of the dangers posed by inaction on climate change.

Climate Councillor and public health physician Dr Kate Charlesworth said heat waves were starting earlier, becoming more frequent and growing in intensity.

Dr Charlesworth said heat waves are a "silent killer" and led to more deaths than all the other extreme weather events combined - including bushfires, cyclones, and floods.

Dr. Tim Flannery and Professor Will Steffen.
Dr. Tim Flannery and Professor Will Steffen.

A fellow councillor and climate change expert Professor Will Steffen said the dangers associated with prolonged extreme heat were well known, especially after last summer's bushfires.

He added that 2019 was the hottest and driest year on record for Australia and the second hottest for the entire planet, a trend which was well established.

"Extreme heat and dry conditions are part of a long-term warming trend driven by climate change, which set the scene for what was to become the worst fire season Australia has ever experienced," Professor Steffen said.

"Since 1960, the number of record hot days in Australia has doubled, and this increase is being driven by the burning of coal, oil and gas.

"To protect Australians we must rapidly and deeply reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and make the switch to renewable energy."



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