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Sydney suffers in heatwave as NSW temperatures soar past 46 degrees Celsius

Cameron Gooley and Bellinda Kontominas, Saturday January 19, 2019 - 01:31 EDT
ABC image
The road began to melt on the Oxley Highway, west of Port Macquarie. - ABC

Temperatures at some regional sites in New South Wales have clicked over 46 degrees Celsius on Friday, with .

The sweltering weather conditions continue a heatwave that has gripped the state since Tuesday.

So far regional areas have copped the worst of the temperatures, with the heat so intense that the Oxley Highway near Tom's Creek started melting, until a water tanker came in to cool down the road.

Noona, near Wilcannia, broke the record for Australia's highest overnight temperature on Thursday night, reaching a minimum of 35.9C.

Tibooburra Airport, in the far north-west of NSW, hit 46.9C at 2:40pm.

NSW ambulance officers reported an spike in heat-related incidents, while a 25-year-old man suffered severe spinal injuries after diving into shallow waters at Brooklyn Baths around midday.

The ABC was travelling with paramedics this afternoon when as a 67-year-old woman at the Seven Hills Salvos store collapsed from heat exposure.

The woman, an antique collector, walked to the store in the heat and soon became short of breath.

She was treated on the scene inside the ambulance before returning home.

The extreme temperatures meant Sydney Trains have declared the "WOLO" speed limit in outer western Sydney where the temperature exceeded 40 degrees, meaning trains needed to travel 10 kilometres per hour slower.

Paramedics were on standby at some train stations around the network, with a Transport Management Centre spokesperson confirming paramedics had expanded operations to cope with the demand.

Livestock feel the heat

In Bourke, where temperatures hit 46C on Thursday, NSW Police rescued a sheep that was struggling to walk in the heat with an injured leg.

The sheep enjoyed the air-conditioned comfort of the police car, before being taken to a holding pen.

Albury, on the Victorian border, hit 45.3C on Thursday — its highest temperature on record.

On Friday afternoon, the temperature in Penrith peaked at 41.5C at 4:20pm.

On Thursday, Penrith hit 42C but the temperature gauge on Kerry Toomey's car was above 50C.

"It honestly felt like I was opening the door to an oven," she said.

Last year was Australia's third-hottest on record and Anita Pyne, from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said people should get used to it.

"We can't attribute any one particular heatwave to climate change but we do know that as the earth warms that we will get more frequent heatwaves and we will get more intense heatwaves," she said.


© ABC 2019

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