Summer arrives with a punchSaturday December 1, 2012 - 07:36 EDT
Sweltering conditions will continue across the New South Wales Hunter Valley today, after the mercury soared Friday.
Several inland areas recorded temperatures above 40 degrees yesterday afternoon.
As a result firefighters across the region stood ready to act in the event of bushfires.
Grant Conway from the Williamtown Bureau of Meteorology says it will be hot again today.
"The first day of summer it's going to turn out to be a true summers day." he said.
"It'll be humid and we're looking at maximums of 43 in the Upper Hunter and it could even get warmer and so it's going to be another hot and humid day until that southerly change comes through on early Sunday morning and cools things down a bit."
It has been a dry Spring across the region.
Rainfall has been hard to come by in the Upper and Lower Hunter, prompting fears that rural areas will slip back into drought.
Farmers are activating strategies to ensure their businesses get through the dry weather.
Grant Conway says rain has been scarce in many areas.
"The total rainfall for Nobbys was 48 millimetres and the average is 217 so well below and that's pretty much reflected right across the Hunter." he said.
"At Tocal you're looking at 53.6 for total rainfall for Spring and the average is 203 and here at Williamtown we had 57.4 and our average is 218."
© ABC 2012
More breaking news
As the mercury plummets across South Australia ahead of winter, coastal properties are preparing for the inevitable storm surges.
Perth has not recorded any rainfall so far this month.
A Western Australian Government official says "our eyes widened" when the new administration faced federal-state cooperative issues tackling the state's storm recovery after months of damaging weather.