Christmas Day weather: Fears Cyclone Seth could form in north; ‘Record’ heatwave threatens west

There are concerns a tropical cyclone forming over Christmas could impact three states with up to 300mm of rain while a “record” heatwave hits the west.

Meteorologists are warning of a treacherous “evolving situation” across northern Australia as a possible cyclone builds up over the Christmas long weekend.

Three states could be impacted with Darwin potentially seeing as much as 300mm of rain over just the next four days. Winds gust coudl laso reachg 120 km/h in teh city from Sudnay.

Meanwhile Perth is facing a “record challenging” heatwave while storms are rolling through the east.

It’s all setting the scene for an unwanted Christmas gift of dangerous weather drama.

Forecasters are keeping a watchful eye on the waters north of the Top End where the conditions are perfect for creating the first tropical cyclone to hit land this season.

If it does form, it would be a dramatic beginning to the monsoon season across the north.

“A tropical cyclone watch has been issued for communities between Point Stewart in the NT, and Kalumburu in the Kimberley, including Darwin and the Tiwi Islands,” the Bureau of Meteorology’s Jonathan How said on Christmas Eve.

“This is in anticipation of the development of a tropical cyclone off the coast either on Christmas Day or early Boxing Day.

“Damaging winds, heavy squally rain and dangerous conditions are all expected.”

Cyclone Seth, which it would be called, could affect Darwin late on Boxing Day or Monday.

“This is an evolving situation. It could grow to include both the NT and possibly Queensland,” Mr How said.

Parts of north east Western Australia are also under threat.

A stormy Darwin could see 45-60mm of rain on Christmas Day, 70-120mm on Boxing Day, 50-100mm on Monday and then potentially another 60mm on Tuesday.

Temperatures will remain above 30C with lows of 25C.

‘Record challenging’ heatwave for Perth

In Perth it’s heat not rain which could ruin Christmas Day.

“Record challenging heatwave conditions are building with three days in a row expected to exceed 40C in Perth,” said Sky Weather meteorologist Alison Osborne.

“This is a very rare and an extreme heatwave which will also see overnight temperatures barely dipping below 30C.

“This increases the risk of heat related injury and stress.”

Ms Osborne added that bushfires were a possibility.

“Any active fires or any fires that start will be fast moving, difficult to control and unlikely to be put out unless the weather changes.”

The Christmas Day high forecast for Perth has now risen to 43C. If it reaches that it will beat the hottest Christmas Day on record in Perth, beating the 42C experienced in 1968.

Boxing Day could be even worse on 44C and then around 40C highs until Wednesday.

Storms, rain for east

Queensland and northern NSW can expect show showers on Christmas Day and even the odd storm later on.

Around 28C for the next few days in a soggy Brisbane. Christmas Day could see up to 15mm of rain in the city and the same on Boxing Day and possibly more on Monday.

A few showers in Townsville on Christmas Day with heavier falls, up to 20mm, on Sunday and up to 30mm on Tuesday.

A warm 30C in Sydney on Christmas Day falling to 27C on Boxing Day and then the mid-twenties for the rest of the week.

Showers could happen on Sunday but they shouldn’t be too heavy.

A possible storm and 30C in Canberra for Christmas Day but little in the way of rain. Boxing Day should see 26C and up to 15mm coming down.

Mild in Melbourne with a top of 21C on Saturday and 19C on Boxing Day but it will gradually warm up to 30C as next week progresses. It should remain dry.

Also dry in Hobart for the next week. Christmas Day will see a high of 21C and low of 15C with Boxing Day maxing out at 17C.

A pleasant 27C in Adelaide on the big day with minimums of 15C. It will remain around the mid-twenties until Wednesday when temperatures begin to climb.

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