A cool change may be bringing relief to many parts of New South Wales today, but hot weather is expected to return at the end of the week.
Yesterday, Tibooburra in the far north-west recorded the highest temperature of 45, while Sydney reached its fifth-highest on record, at 42.3.
Today the forecast highs are 37 degrees in Tibooburra, while Sydney is expected to be a relatively mild 25 degrees.
The severe fire danger has shifted to the north of the state with Grafton to swelter at 42 degrees, before cooling to a forecast high of 31 on Thursday.
The Bureau of Meteorology says this week's heatwave has been an exceptional event.
Forecasters looked on yesterday as temperatures in the south-east skyrocketed.
In Bega, on the far south coast, the mercury rose 18 degrees in just two hours.
By 9:00am, the town was sweltering in 38 degree heat - a record temperature at that time there.
Forecaster Dimitri Danchuk says there are more scorching days to come.
"There will be another burst of activity at least by the end of the week, but it'll be much weaker," he said.
Saturday's forecast is for 33 degrees in Sydney, 40 in Grafton and a stifling 47 degrees in Tibooburra.
The nation's weather is literally off the map, with the Bureau adding new colours to its charts to record temperatures above 50 degrees.
© ABC 2013
13:51 EST Southeast Queensland has been engulfed by heavy rain due to an east coast low.