Article Excerpt: A blistering heat wave will build across central and southern Australia through the week, threatening all-time national heat records, and continuing what has been a hot, dry spring.
Extreme heat has already seared parts of Western Australia in the past few days.
For the first time on record in December, Australia's fourth-largest city, Perth, had three-straight days of highs of at least 40 degrees Celsius Friday through Sunday, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
The instigator for this potentially record-breaking heat wave is an expanding dome of high pressure aloft.
Given Australia is coming off its record-driest spring, the sun's energy will go directly to heating the air above the dry ground and vegetation, rather than evaporating moisture.
The Australian BOM forecasted "extreme heat wave" conditions, its highest level of heat wave severity, through late in the week, potentially including cities such as Adelaide and the nation's capital, Canberra, and possibly into the western part of the Sydney metro area.
In some locations, high temperatures could be as much as 20 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit) above average.
Needless to say, this is not good news for the effort to battle existing bushfires across the continent.