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Sydney Airport's world-beating heat

Ben Domensino, Friday January 24, 2020 - 11:41 EDT

Sydney Airport was the equal hottest place in the world on Thursday.

A stream of hot northwesterly winds passing over NSW ahead of an approaching cold front sent the mercury soaring across the Sydney Basin on Thursday.

Sydney Airport's 43.7 degrees Celsius shortly after 3pm local time was the highest temperature in Sydney and NSW. It was also the equal highest temperature in Australia on Thursday, matching the maximum recorded at Learmonth Airport in WA several hours later.

These were also the highest official temperatures recorded anywhere in the world on Thursday.

It's not uncommon to see the world's highest temperatures occurring in Australia during January, largely because the northern hemisphere is in the middle of winter. 

However, it's rare to see a near-coastal location in Sydney top the list. Sydney Airport was 1.3 degrees warmer than Richmond and Penrith and more than half a degree warmer than Birdsville in outback Queensland on Thursday.

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