Learn about our heatwave maps, warnings, forecasts and assessments.
On this page
Our heatwave service includes:
Heatwave forecasts and warnings are generally issued from October until the end of March. Depending on conditions, the service may start earlier or run later.
We also provide assessments, which show the severity of a heatwave over the previous 2 three-day periods.
The maps use colours to show the 3 different heatwave intensities:
In our heatwave forecasts and warnings, each map shows a 3-day period starting from that day.
For example, a heatwave warning might have 4 maps for Sunday to Wednesday:
The maps differ because they:
We issue a heatwave warning for severe or extreme heatwave conditions.
These warnings alert Australians that a heat hazard is forecast within the next 4 days. They help the community prepare for and lessen the impacts of a heatwave event.
A heatwave warning consists of 4 maps covering 4 three-day periods, extending out to 3 days in the future. The warning includes:
Action statements in heatwave warnings
The warnings include 5 sets of action statements that match the heatwave severity. These have been agreed with our partner health and emergency service agencies across Australia.
Our heatwave warnings complement heat health messages provided by state and territory agencies.
We issue a heatwave warning for your weather district when a severe or extreme heatwave is expected. To learn about heatwave classifications, see What is a heatwave?.
How heatwave warnings are issued:
From Monday, severe intensity grows and moves east, with small areas of extreme intensity near the coast. From Tuesday, there is a large area of severe and extreme intensity. From Wednesday, intensity eases.
We calculate heatwaves using the observed and forecast maximum and minimum temperatures for the next 3 days. We compare this to:
The calculation allows for people's ability to adapt to heat. For example, the same temperature feels different to residents of Perth and Hobart. A 35° day will feel warmer to people who live in Hobart, as they are used to cooler temperatures.
This forecast method means that:
A heatwave forecast consists of 5 maps for the next 5 three-day periods – covering the next 7 days in total.
Each map shows:
A heatwave assessment consists of 2 maps for the previous 2 three-day periods.
Each map shows the:
The map is accompanied by text describing the conditions.
View our Heatwave Service for Australia.