SYDNEY – Temperatures of almost 50 degrees Celsius were recorded on Tuesday in some areas of Australia due to a heat wave that affects the country and led its authorities to issue an alert on Wednesday in Sydney for the high presence of ozone.
Although a maximum temperature of 41 degrees is expected for Sydney, the Ministry of Health of the state of New South Wales, whose capital is that city, warned that, due to a combination of heat and sunlight, the increase in the ozone level in the coming days could cause respiratory problems.
“Ozone levels are higher outdoors than indoors and generally highest in the afternoon and early evening,” the director of Environmental Health, Richard Broome, said at a press conference.
During Wednesday, the main cities in the country, except for Hobart, expect temperatures of between 34-41 degrees, while in interior areas temperatures of around 45 degrees and above are predicted.
On Tuesday, the highest temperatures were recorded in the town of Port Augusta, in the state of South Australia, where they reached 48.9 degrees, and in the small town of Tarcoola, in the same state, where it reached 49 degrees.
The heat forced the shortening of stages in the cycling race Tour Down Under, held in South Australia, but has so far not affected the Australian Open tennis, held in Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, where temperatures remain at around 30 degrees.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicted a rise in temperatures between Monday and Friday this week of more than 12 degrees above average during the day and 10 at night.