Temperatures set to soar

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Penrith is on a major weather alert with temperatures set to soar above 41 degrees tomorrow.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is predicting temperatures will reach 37 degrees in Penrith today, with 41 degrees expected tomorrow.

It has prompted a health warning from the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.

Director of Public Health, Dr Bradley Forssman, said to drink plenty of water, avoid alcoholic, sugary or caffeinated drinks and be aware of health symptoms during the hot days.

“Keep cool, and if possible, stay in an air-conditioned building. You can also keep your house cool by drawing blinds and curtains,” he said.

“Seek medical attention if you feel unwell. Symptoms can range from irritability, thirst and dizziness during mild to moderate dehydration, through to rapid pulse, rapid shallow breathing and loss of consciousness or seizures during heat stroke.”

Dr Forssman said to take care of others such as elderly relatives or neighbours, and young children and pregnant women.

“Overweight or obese people, people with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes or kidney disease, and people with or recovering from an acute illness with fever or gastroenteritis are particularly vulnerable,” he said.

BOM Meteorologist, Zac Porter, said the sudden hot conditions are from a high pressure system and a north westerly breeze bringing hot air from inland.

“Broadly there has been a shift in the weather patterns. What we are seeing is the high pressure system established over the northern Tasman Sea that’s drawing very hot air in from the centre of Australia in to NSW,” he said.

“The air is coming from the centre of the continent, and because it’s a dry area we are losing some of the humidity so there is less cloud cover, and our sunny days are hotter than the cloudy days.”

After a scorcher of a week, BOM forecasts Penrith will cool on over the weekend as southerly winds bring cooler temperatures, getting back to the average of 27 degrees.

“It’s looking like a southerly change moving through in the early hours of Saturday morning so Penrith will wake up to a much milder day,” Mr Porter said.

“It does look like there will be a shower or two on Saturday with partly cloudy conditions. Sunday will reach around 25 degrees, with showers still possible as well.”

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