Stock Handling & Animal Welfare

Heatwave warnings go out for people and livestock

Sheep Central, December 18, 2019

AUSTRALIA’S Bureau of Meteorology is reminding communities to remain alert to risks posed by heatwaves, as a week of extreme temperatures starts to impact large parts of south-eastern Australia.

BOM said temperatures will begin to rise in South Australia today, and will continue to build in the coming days, pushing east into Victoria and New South Wales over the course of the week.

Preliminary results from the bureau suggest that the national maximum temperature average of 40.9 ºC on 17th December was Australia’s hottest on record, with the average maximum across the country as a whole, exceeding the previous record of 40.3 ºC on the 7th January 2013.

For the latest weather and warnings, information visit  and follow advice from emergency services, BOM’s Facebook site said.

Bureau meteorologist Sarah Scully said many areas will experience severe to extreme heatwaves this week.

The BOM reminder came as Riverina Local Land Services urged producers to be mindful that stock water requirements can double during heat waves. Adult sheep can drink from two to 12 litres of water and adult cattle anywhere from 40-140 litres, depending on lactational status and if they are grazing saltbush country, Riverina LLS tweeted.

Ms Scully said BOM was expecting large areas of inland South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales to experience temperatures in the mid to high 40s.

“For many areas, severe to extreme heatwave conditions will be felt, so it’s important people follow the advice of health authorities, stay up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings from the Bureau and remember to check in on any vulnerable family and friends.”

Bureau climatologist Dr Blair Trewin said temperatures in many locations are forecast to approach or even exceed December and potentially annual records.

“We saw significant heat build over Western Australia over the course of last week, and that heat is now pushing east over the continent, which is going to lead to several days of exceptional heat,” Dr Trewin said.

“Australia’s warmest day on record occurred in January 2013, when the average maximum temperature across the continent was 40.30 ºC.

“We’re closely monitoring the development and progression of this heat but based on current forecasts we could see that record broken this week.”

Download an interview with meteorologist Sarah Scully discussing the upcoming heat: VIDEO

Download an interview with climatologist Dr Blair Trewin discussing the climate and historical significance of the upcoming heat VIDEO

See the bureau’s latest heatwave forecasts. Stay up to date with all the latest warnings and forecasts via the Bureau of Meteorology website.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -