Extreme Heat Plan

In Australia we expect very hot days during summer, but people need to be aware that extreme hot weather can have a debilitating impact on general wellbeing.

The State Emergency Service (SES) is the Hazard Leader for Extreme Weather under State Emergency Management arrangements. Key South Australian Government departments, led by the SES, have worked together to prepare a whole of government Extreme Heat Plan. The plan ensures a coordinated approach to increasing community preparedness, awareness and response to extreme heat events.

The aim of the Extreme Heat Plan is for government agencies to work together to effectively deliver timely and accurate advice and support to the South Australian community. The Plan is focussed toward mitigating the impact of extreme heat events on our communities. Public warnings will not usually be issued for one or two isolated days of hot weather. However, they will always be issued for periods of extreme heat in accordance with the threshold for heat warnings.

What triggers the activation of the Extreme Heat Plan?

The trigger for providing advice to the public about the risk of an extreme heat event commences with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) temperature predictions.

The Extreme Heat Plan includes trigger points for various actions that are based on a formula using the average daily temperature [ADT].

The trigger for issuing public warnings is based on a three day rolling average of daily temperatures. The ADT is calculated for each day by adding the forecast maximum and minimum daytime temperatures together and dividing this number by two. For example, a 32C degree maximum daytime temperature and a 24C degree overnight temperature will provide an ADT of 28C degrees. This formula is applied to the forecast provided by the BOM for the next three days.

Throughout the summer the SES works closely with the BOM on a daily basis to predict the ADT and initiate appropriate action.

Warning Messages

When an ADT of 32C or above (for example, an average of 40C daytime and 24C overnight) is predicted for three or more consecutive days the SES will issue an Extreme Heat WARNING to the public via media release where practical up to 24 hours in advance of the event.

The Extreme Heat WARNING messages will be posted to the following websites:

Bureau of Meteorology www.bom.gov.au
State Emergency Service www.ses.sa.gov.au

Where to get more information?

The SES has developed the Heatwave Information Guide which includes lots of helpful tips on how to reduce the impact of extreme heat. It also includes information about how to respond to heat stress so the community are prepared for heatwaves. To download a copy please click here.

Copies of the Heatwave Information Guide are available at the SES State and all Regional Headquarters as well as Service SA Customer Service Centres state-wide.

Heat health information is available through the SA Health website, you can also phone Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222 for more information.

Further Information

SES Heatwave Information page

Important heat related advice