Strong northwesterly winds and a hot, dry airmass combined to bring an extreme fire danger for far western parts of New South Wales today.
White Cliffs saw its Fire Danger Rating (FDR) reach extreme thresholds of 97, just 3 below catastrophic, as winds gusted up to 85km/h, temperatures soared in excess of 30 degrees and humidity remained dipped close to 10%.
Nearby, Wilcannia reached a maximum of 33 degrees, its hottest August day on record. This combined with 83km/h wind gusts and dry conditions to bring an extreme FDR of 90.
The unseasonably warm airmass will linger into the weekend with temperatures likely to soar above 30 degrees again on Saturday and Sunday. Winds will not be as strong as today so the fire danger should not be quite as high.
© Weatherzone 2013
22:56 EST Parts of Sydney and the Blue Mountains were blanketed by large hailstones after a severe thunderstorm moved across the area this afternoon, causing five warehouses to collapse.