A RETURN to heatwave conditions, scorching temperatures and high bushfire danger will be eased by a monsoon that will form at the weekend.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast that a cool change will start to move north-east on Friday.
Ahead of the change, the extended dry will continue with temperatures to rise across much of Northern NSW on Friday and Saturday
Assistant Director of Weather Services, Alasdair Hainsworth said this unusual, extended period of extreme heat affecting large parts of Australia over the past two weeks will start to ease over the weekend with the onset of the monsoon.
"This extreme heat, combined with strong, gusty winds ahead of the cool change will prove particularly challenging for fire fighters who have been battling blazes for two weeks now," Mr Hainsworth said.
"The late onset of the monsoon has allowed extremely hot air to build up in northern Australia.
"Fortunately, this weekend we're going to finally see some cloud cover and rain getting into northern Australia, and will eventually flush out the hot air mass that has built up in the interior of the continent.
The onset of the Northern Australia Wet Season is about three weeks later than usual.
During the summer, or northern wet season, of 1972-1973 and 1992-1993 the country also saw a late onset of the monsoon, in the last week of January.