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Weekend heat to challenge records in NSW

Ben Domensino, Wednesday September 20, 2017 - 13:00 EST

Unusually intense September heat will sweep across NSW this weekend ahead of a dry and gusty change, elevating fire danger ratings across the parched state.

The first month of spring has been notably dry in NSW, continuing a trend of below average rainfall that was experienced during winter.

Most of NSW has received less than 20 per cent of the average September rainfall during the first 20 days of this month. Many areas near the coast and across the state's north west are yet to register any spring rainfall at all.

This dry start to spring in NSW comes off the back of the state's driest winter in 15 years and the ninth driest winter on record. It was also the third warmest winter on record in NSW based on maximum temperatures.

Unfortunately, the pulse of dry, hot and windy weather that is scheduled to cross NSW this weekend will raise fire danger ratings to severe or extreme levels in some areas.

The threat of fires this weekend will be heightened further by above-average fuel loads in forested areas of central and eastern NSW, in response to the low winter rainfall.

The highest temperatures this weekend will occur in the state's northwest, where Tibooburra, Bourke, Walgett and Wanaaring are forecast to reach 37-39 degrees on Saturday.

There is good chance that somewhere in this region will reach 40 degrees on Saturday, which would be a first for NSW during September.

The current NSW record for the highest September temperature is 39.6 degrees at Wanaaring Post Office, set on 28th September 2004.

Sydney's hottest day will also be on Saturday and the city is a good chance of venturing into the thirties. There's even potential to get within a degree of its current September record, which is 34.6 degrees from 1965.

The unseasonably hot air will become confined to northeast NSW on Sunday as milder westerlies lower temperatures across the rest of the state.

Visit the NSW RFS website this weekend for the latest information about fires across the state: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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