Sydney has just had its hottest week this deep into autumn in 44 years.
The city reached 33.5 degrees this afternoon, making it the hottest day since January 18th.
Today is also the hottest day of the past week and brings the average daytime maximum temperature over the past seven days to just above 29 degrees. Sydney has not seen a week this hot this late in autumn since 1969. In April of that year there was a week with an average maximum of 29.7 degrees.
For nearly all suburbs, including the city, Bankstown, Richmond and Penrith, this is the hottest day this late in autumn for seven years.
The unseasonable heat has been caused by a lingering warm air mass, which would usually have been forced out of the city by this time of year by a cold front. However a dominance of high pressure over the Tasman Sea recently has prevented these cold fronts from reaching Sydney, allowing summery temperature to remain until today.
A change moving up the coast will bring an end to summer's overflowing heat, reaching the city later this evening and bringing with it some showers.
The Easter long weekend will see temperatures return closer to average behind this change, reaching the mid-to-low twenties each day and dropping to the high teens overnight.
© Weatherzone 2013
11:29 EST Tens of thousands of people are without power and SES crews have answered more than 3,000 emergency calls as heavy rain and "cyclonic" winds topping 130kph continue to lash Sydney, the Hunter and the NSW Central Coast.