Sydney Sets Highest Heat Record as Victoria Fights Bushfire

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On Sunday, parts of Sydney set new temperature records for the start of October, as the city sweltered in heat that reached 15 degrees over average, sending Sydneysiders racing for the beach.

According to preliminary Bureau of Meteorology statistics, Penrith reached 37.3 degrees shortly after 3 p.m., Richmond reached 36.7, and Sydney Airport reached 36.9 degrees.

The previous high for October 1 at Sydney Airport was 34.3 degrees in 1998, according to the bureau’s senior meteorologist Angus Hines.

Temperatures are often highest in Sydney’s west during a heatwave, with coastal areas receiving some relief, but Hines said that wasn’t the case on Sunday.

“We’re not getting that cooling effect, all of Sydney is in the same boat,” Hines stated.

The heat sweeping across Sydney was caused by a “heat bubble” that erupted in Western Australia last week.

“We’ve had a weak cold front move eastwards across southern Australia over the weekend, and it’s been pulling warm air with it,” Hines explained.

The conditions prompted the NSW Rural Fire Service to designate sections of the state, including Greater Sydney and the Hunter, at risk of “extreme” fire hazard, and a total fire ban is in effect.

On Sunday afternoon, over 75 fires were burning across the state, with 30 of them out of control. The majority of the state enters the statutory Bush Fire Danger Period on Sunday, which will last through March 31.

At 4 p.m., Fire and Rescue crews were still struggling to put out a small grassfire in Plumpton, near Mount Druitt, that had flared up near stores, fast food outlets, and Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic’s electoral office.

The RFS has issued a ‘watch and act’ alert for two out-of-control fires near towns in the Snowy Monaro region. Residents near a fire that has charred 27 hectares of bushland in Bawley Point, in the Shoalhaven, have also been told to prepare to act.

The NRLW grand final began with temperatures reaching 35.5 degrees at Sydney Olympic Park, making it the warmest grand final day ever.

“By the time the men’s game kicks off, we expect it to be about 30 to 31 degrees and cooling off during the course of the match,” Hines stated.

Around 10 p.m., a chilly shift is forecast to come through Sydney from the south.

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