The build-up in the Northern Territory is underway, with humid, hot conditions in the north and troughs bringing temperatures well above average in southern parts of the Territory but relief is on the way, weather authorities have said.
The NT has been sweltering through hot weather in recent days, with temperatures 10 degrees above the September average in central and southern parts, and reaching 40 degrees Celsius in parts of the Top End.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Angeline Prasad said the build-up had arrived.
"The build-up is here. We are seeing a build-up of humidity and very warm temperatures in the north as well," she said.
She said a near-stationary trough on the south-west coast of Australia was maintaining persistent north-westerly winds, causing the heat.
Relief on the way
"Heat is being grabbed up from the Kimberley region for example and being dragged south across the southern parts of the Territory, hence the persistently warm temperatures that we have been seeing in the last few days," Ms Prasad said.
Although the warm conditions were likely to persist over the next few days, relief was tipped for later in the week.
"There is a cloud band developing through the southern parts of the Territory on Tuesday - so late Tuesday and Wednesday - and this cloud band is expected to bring some rain," Ms Prasad said.
"The rain and a south-west change will bring some respite, so we will see temperatures drop about 10 degrees in some places, and other places might even see a 15-degree drop."
The warm weather came after a dry season that did not meet predictions to be cooler than normal.
In a good dry season, Darwin experiences about 51 days of overnight temperatures below 20C, but so far this year there has only been 35.
"Typically after a strong El Nino we tend to have good dry seasons, but that wasn't the case this year," Ms Prasad said.ABC