Across much of eastern Australia, so far this November, temperatures have been running above average and rainfall below normal. This has set the stage for an active start to the summer wildfire season across eastern New South Wales.
Due do the continuous hot and dry weather, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued total fire bans across the region over the weekend. A total fire ban remains in effect on Monday in the Lower Central West Plains area. Even though a fire ban is not in effect across the rest of New South Wales, dry brush will keep the fire danger high across the rest of the state.
In Sydney, temperatures have averaged about 3 degrees C (5 degrees F) above normal this month. Less than 11 mm (less than 0.50 of an inch) of rain has fallen in the city. This is only 20 percent of normal to date for the month. To the west of Sydney, in Cobar, no rain has fallen this month and temperatures climbed as high as 43.3 C (110 F).
There is, however, some relief heading towards these hard-hit areas early this week as a cold front lifts north into eastern Australia.
This cold front will lower temperatures back closer to seasonable levels along with bring an increase chance for rain.
On Monday, showers and thunderstorms will develop along the front from central parts of the continent, south and east towards New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Areas from Sydney south into eastern Victory will see the more widespread showers and thunderstorms. Locally, 25-50 mm ( 1-2 inches) of rain will fall in the heavier storms which will bring some much needed moisture to the region.
However, this rain will come at a cost. Some of the thunderstorms in southeastern New South Wales, including around Sydney, could bring locally damaging wind and possibly hail.
Through the course of the week, showers and thunderstorms will gradually slide to the north, eventually reaching areas around Brisbane towards the end of the week. Meanwhile, high pressure will bring the return of dry weather across Victoria and New South Wales.