Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour had their hottest October day in decades while most of the eastern seaboard had a scorcher.
Eastern New South Wales quickly heated ahead of a cool change moving north along the coast. Sydney leaped to 34 degrees by midday before the heating was halted by the southerly change. Sydney's west gradually received the change and at 2:30pm Penrith was still 35 degrees.
Port Macquarie wasn't as fortunate as Sydney in finding early relief from the heat. The temperature soared to a staggering 39 degrees, making it the hottest day for any month in seven years. It is also the hottest October day recorded at any Port Macquarie weather station in over 100 years of records. Coffs Harbour also reached 39 degrees, the hottest October day in 24 years and the hottest for any month in six.
Cloud-free skies over the interior during the past week have allowed heat to build up. Westerly winds today are transporting this heat into NSW ahead of a low pressure trough.
As the hot air mass moved through western NSW on Friday, Wilcannia reached 41 degrees, which is their hottest October day in 24 years. Wanaaring in the Upper Western also reached an uncomfortable top of 41 degrees, which is a whopping 14 degrees above their October average.
The hot and dry conditions combined with west to northwesterly winds, bringing fire danger. A fire weather warning has been issued for the fire areas of the Far North Coast, North Coast, Greater Hunter, New England, Northern Slopes and North Western. Smoke from controlled burns could be seen around the Sydney Basin today.
Temperatures will be cooler over coming days, although Thursday will be another hot one. Fortunately for most, it will be a few degrees cooler than today. At this stage it is likely that the sea breeze will kick in from around lunch-time for coastal centres, bringing relief only gradually further west.
© Weatherzone 2012
12:54 EST Southern New South Wales and the ACT had a chilly start to the weekend, with some places seeing their coldest May night in half a decade.