Australia will live up to its reputation as the land of drought and flooding rains this weekend, with everything from cyclones to heatwaves expected to descend on parts of the country.

Thousands of workers are expected to capitalise on next Tuesday's public holiday by turning it into a four-day weekend.
While those in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and southeast Queensland will enjoy clear skies and average summer temperatures, the rest of the country will not be as lucky.

The beach will be one of the best places to be this weekend. Picture: AAP Image/David Crosling
The beach will be one of the best places to be this weekend. Picture: AAP Image/David Crosling

A severe heatwave will send temperatures soaring across almost all of southeastern Australia from Friday until at least Monday, before a cool reprieve on the public holiday.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Dean Narramore said the mercury was expected to climb into the mid-40s in inland areas.

But the capital cities won't be completely spared either.

Melbourne is in for a scorcher. Picture: AAP Image/Ellen Smith
Melbourne is in for a scorcher. Picture: AAP Image/Ellen Smith

Adelaide has a predicted top of 41C on Sunday, Canberra is expected to reach 40 and Melbourne has a maximum temperature of 38C.

"Sydney's going to be in the low 30s, but the western suburbs could have multiple days in the low 40s," Mr Narramore said.

"Penrith will reach 42 on Sunday and 43 on Monday."

It will be a different story on the other side of the country, with the possibility a tropical cyclone will form off the northern part of Western Australia.

Mr Narramore said even if it didn't, the tropical low would still ensure a largely wet weekend.

"There will be widespread rain, storms and heavy falls at night," he said.

The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Kimi are also expected to continue to soak parts of northern and western Queensland, while the state is being warned another cyclone could form within the next week.

The northern parts of Western Australia could be hampered by a cyclone this weekend. Picture: Supplied.
The northern parts of Western Australia could be hampered by a cyclone this weekend. Picture: Supplied.

AUSTRALIA DAY FORECAST

Sydney: Partly cloudy, 22C - 29C. Medium (40 per cent) chance of showers, most likely later in the day.

Melbourne: Cloudy, 15C - 20C. Medium (50 per cent) chance of showers.

Brisbane: Cloudy, 21C - 29C. Medium (40 per cent) chance of showers.

Canberra: Partly cloudy, 20C - 33C. Medium (50 per cent) chance of showers.

Adelaide: Partly cloudy, 17C - 26C. Slight (30 per cent) chance of a shower.

Perth: Mostly sunny, 19C - 31C. Winds shifting south to south-westerly during the morning.

Hobart: Cloudy, 11C - 17C. Slight (30 per cent) chance of a shower.

Darwin: Cloudy, 25C - 32C. High (80 per cent) chance of showers and possible thunderstorm.

Originally published as Heatwave for Australia Day long weekend