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NSW heatwave: Sydney swelters then storms as humid conditions continue

Monday January 8, 2018 - 23:34 EDT
ABC licensed image
A storm breaks up the hot weather on Monday evening during a summer heatwave in Sydney. - ABC licensed

Storm warnings for a significant part of New South Wales have been cancelled as the state cools after a blistering weekend.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) had warned of severe thunderstorms and damaging winds on Monday evening in and around Scone, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Narrandera, Tibooburra, Cobar, Bourke, Wilcannia, White Cliffs, Wanaaring, Ivanhoe and Brewarrina.

The warnings were cancelled just before 11:00pm AEDT.

Patchy rain had already cooled the scorched concrete in the Sydney CBD and Gosford.

On Sunday, by the late afternoon, making it the hottest temperature recorded in Sydney since 1939. It was also the hottest city on Earth.

The Australian and England cricket teams suffered temperatures in the 50s out on the field at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with England captain .

On Monday, the top temperatures for Greater Sydney were 43.6C for Richmond and 42.5C at Penrith.

The Sydney CBD did not quite reach the 33C temperature forecast, topping out at 31.9C around lunchtime.

Power provider Ausgrid said it was investigating "multiple localised outages" in Sydney and on the Central Coast, with about 14,000 customers affected.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has fire bans in place for Greater Sydney and the Hunter region.

Extra crews have been placed on standby as winds of between 40 and 45 kilometres per hour are forecast.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the total fire ban covered areas experiencing very high fire conditions.

"The total fire bans are again in force today for the Greater Sydney environment which includes the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast, but also the Greater Hunter region which is effectively from Newcastle up through the Hunter to places like Scone and Muswellbrook," he said.

However a southerly change is expected to cool things down by Wednesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Andrew Haigh said the cool change would begin moving through Sydney late on Tuesday.

"So Wednesday is when we can really expect some significant relief from that heat — only about 25C in the city and high 20s in the west," he said.

'Swimmers should take extra care'

With many taking to the water to escape the heatwave conditions, Surf Life Saving NSW has urged beachgoers to exercise caution, after several water rescues.

A 14-year-old boy and a 19-year-old woman risked their lives to save a 19-year-old man from a rip at Tuncurry on the NSW Mid North Coast on Sunday night.

The man was caught in a rip with two other friends who managed to swim to safety.

The two bystanders then rushed to the man's aid and brought him ashore, where he was taken to hospital in a stable condition.

In other incidents, two men aged 33 and 48 remain in hospital in a critical condition after being pulled from unpatrolled beaches near Wollongong — one at Bulli's Sandon Point and the other further south near Port Kembla.

CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW, Steve Peace, warned members of the public to be extremely careful on the state's beaches.

"Please, come to the beach it will be fantastic but you must look for those iconic symbols the red and yellow flags," he said.

"And you must swim where our lifeguards and lifesavers can see you."

A rock fisherman in his 20s from Western Sydney, who was not wearing a life jacket, died after falling into the water at Currarong in the Shoalhaven region on Sunday morning.


© ABC 2018

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