Climate to reveal true force to us

AUSTRALIA'S variable climate will be on full display in the coming week with parts of the nation about to experience one of the largest heatwaves in decades.

About 110 years ago, the history books recorded Dubbo and the central west being in the grip of the Great Drought which was broken by rains in December 1902 and the creeks running in 1903.

Also in January that year, a heatwave with temperatures at the 47 to 51 degree Celsius mark were recorded at centres like Bourke, Brewarrina and Dubbo.

A senior meteorologist said we're to expect a once-in-20 or 30-year heatwave event in the next few days and all of a sudden the air-conditioned office or supermarket does look more attractive than a home with no similar forms of cooling.

Western NSW Local Health District is calling for caution as heat-related illness may affect anyone; certain groups are particularly vulnerable. These include the young and old as well as people with a chronic medical conditions and people who live alone.

One way to prevent any health issues will be to drink plenty of water and avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks.

Keep the sun out of your house by shading windows with an awning, shade-cloth or plants. Shutting curtains will also help and keep windows closed during the day - open them when it cools down at night or the early morning.

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UNDER the you have to be kidding heading: colleagues tell me hot cross buns and easter chocolates have been spotted in supermarkets.

Cripes folks, it's a bit early isn't it? We've hardly put our New Year hangovers away for another 12 months.

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