- Fears of deaths as temperature set to reach 47C in Victoria as mercury rises
- Health chiefs issue advice about how to avoid deaths in extreme heatwave
- Adelaide and Melbourne set to swelter with inland temperatures even higher
- High humidity also adding to concerns as people told best ways to stay cool
Experts have warned scorching temperatures could lead to fatalities this long weekend as an extreme heatwave sweeps across Australia.
Health officials in Victoria issued the warning as temperatures are expected to rise 46C in central areas of the state on Saturday afternoon.
Parts of South Australia and south-western New South Wales are also expected to nudge past 40C, with Adelaide set to hit 42C on Saturday and Sunday.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts a heatwave across Victoria, South Australia parts of NSW and Tasmania
Melbourne is set to swelter in 39C temperatures on Sunday as the mercury rises this weekend.
One of the other factors is the high humidity making it feel much hotter and stopping the body’s ability to cool itself through sweating.
The Victoria chief health officer Professor Charles Guest has warned people to prepared for the heat.
‘Heat kills Australians more than any other national disaster,’ he said.
‘That’s because the core temperature of the body goes up, sweating may go down and then organs may shut down. Heat can be a very dangerous phenomenon.
Melbourne is set to swelter in 39C on Sunday while Adelaide is set for 42C on both Saturday and Sunday
The weekend is set for a scorcher with health officials warning people how to stay cool
‘It’s important everybody in the community understands how to survive the heat.’
The warnings come as the Bureau of Meterology (BoM) forecast an extreme heatwave for norther parts of Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia.
‘Looking in on your elderly neighbours and friends and relations in particular can also help prevent deaths,’ Professor Guest said.
‘Many people in the community do not know how to prevent heat health effects and making sure they are doing what you’re doing can all be helpful behaviours.’
Australians have also been reminded to never leave anyone inside a parked car and can be a ‘very dangerous place’ where the temperature rises quickly.