Sydney is having its warmest winter day in 17 years and fourth warmest winter day on record, exceeding 29 degrees, according to weatherzone.com.au.
The temperature reached 29.2 degrees at 1pm this afternoon, a whopping 11 degrees above the average for this time of year and only two degrees short of the winter record.
The last time Sydney had a warmer winter day was in August 1995, when it reached 31.3 degrees. This was the warmest winter day in 154 years of records.
"It was warm enough to generate a bit of sweat, the first time since autumn for many people. It wasn't the most pleasant of days with blowing dust and pollen making life difficult for asthma and allergy sufferers. Wind this afternoon strengthened to gust about 90km/h in some parts of the city, strong enough to bring down trees and powerlines," Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said.
A severe weather warning has been issued due to the prospect of further damaging winds. This warning covers most of central, southern and western New South Wales.
There is also a severe thunderstorm warning out for western parts of the state due to the potential windy nature of any storms.
"Sydney is a chance to see a thunderstorm later this afternoon and evening, so residents are advised to watch out. It's important to stay away from trees and any fallen powerlines. Storms are most likely in western suburbs and on the Blue Mountains," Dutschke said.
"A vigorous cold front is crossing NSW, driven by a very intense low south of the country, causing damaging winds and thunderstorms across the state and also all surrounding states. This system will take any storms off the Sydney coast during the evening and cooler, drier westerly winds will take over."
© Weatherzone 2012
17:25 EST With lots of talk about the cracker start to the grain growing season, there are plenty of farmers who've missed out on that precious rain.