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Australia is bracing for record heat – and a cyclone

Australia is bracing for record heat – and a cyclone

Australia is facing a tough weekend when it comes to weather: while meteorologists expect record temperatures of over 40 degrees in the east and south of the country, a cyclone is heading north.

Meanwhile, dozens of bushfires are burning, particularly in the state of South Australia, fueled by strong winds, Australian broadcaster ABC reported on Friday. Within 24 hours, the region experienced about 30,000 dry lightning strikes, which were discharged without precipitation and particularly frequently ignited forest fires, the fire department was quoted as saying.

The current weather conditions are extremely dangerous and could fuel more intense fires. Also, thousands of people were temporarily without electricity. Heat warnings were also in place for the state of New South Wales, along with Sydney's metropolitan area, where high temperatures are expected in many areas. 20 schools were closed as a precaution. Experts are also expecting temperatures of up to 45 degrees in neighboring Victoria on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a tropical cyclone is moving towards northeastern Australia. “Jasper” has now reached the second-highest level 4 on the hurricane scale. On Friday, the storm was still 1,250 kilometers from Cairns and moving over the Coral Sea, the Met Office said.

Australia is particularly affected by climate change. A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change from February 2022 assumes that the country will be affected by more frequent natural events in the future. Stronger heat, more dangerous fires, more droughts and floods, higher sea levels and drier winters are expected.