Scorching temperatures forecast for Western Sydney, Melbourne and northern Victoria | Australia weather

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Much of southern Queensland and eastern New South Wales will be gripped by heatwave conditions over the weekend as Western Sydney and Melbourne brace for temperatures in the high 30s on Sunday.

Ex-tropical cyclone Kirrily has continued to dump heavy rain across parts of outback Queensland but the system was forecast to track south, taking a route across NSW, before finally leaving the continent on Tuesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology is also monitoring another low pressure system near New Caledonia. The system has the potential to develop into a tropical cyclone, which could affect the Queensland coast late next week.

Angus Hines, a senior forecaster at the bureau, said the heat that baked parts of Western Australia and Perth earlier this week had made its way across the continent.

“We’re seeing that heat spread across eastern parts of the country into South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, NSW and southern Queensland today, with temperatures climbing another step up on Sunday,” he said.

A moderate heatwave warning is in place across southern Queensland and much of eastern NSW, with a severe heatwave affecting areas including Armidale, Batemans Bay, Dubbo, Hornsby, Maitland, Richmond, Scone, Taree, Tamworth and Wollongong.

Melbourne is forecast to hit 37C on Sunday and far northern parts of Victoria could see temperatures as high as 43C.

Sydney will be in the low 30s on Sunday, but its western suburbs were set to bake with temperatures in the high 30s, Hines said. Parts of the state’s interior will be in the low-to- mid 40s.

Hines said the heat was characteristic of Australian summer months when a lack of cool changes leaves heat to sit over areas for prolonged periods.

Cyclone threats

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Kirrily has been on the Australian map for the last 10 days. Hines said the system was still dragging in moisture and dumping significant rainfall for outback areas of Queensland that were typically dry.

A warning for severe rainfall was in place on Saturday for northern parts of the state, with 24-hour rainfall totals up to 300mm possible.

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“It’s been a slow moving system but it’s working its way southwards along the Queensland-Northern Territory border,” Hines said.

He said the current forecast was for the system to move south and then east, crossing the NSW coast on Tuesday.

“Finally it should be moving out and hopefully we will be done with it for good by then,” Hines said.

A tropical low pressure system is now sitting 1500km east of the Queensland coast. Although it is forecast to drift closer to the Australian coast in the coming days, Hines said it was uncertain whether it would strengthen into a cyclone or “live out its life as a tropical low”.

Tropical Cyclone Jasper caused devastating flooding in mid-December. Six weeks later, Cyclone Kirrily crossed the coast near Townsville after being fuelled by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Coral Sea.

“All options are currently open because in the Coral Sea it doesn’t take a big shift in the atmosphere to change the track,” Hines said. “There’s potential for development into a tropical cyclone [late next week] but it’s only a moderate risk.

“We’re hopeful it will stay away as that part of the country has had some significant weather over the last few months.”