NSW weekend heatwave causes near record-breaking temperatures

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Penrith Sydney heatwave
Penrith was the hottest city on Earth on Sunday - Photo by Saberwyn via Wikimedia Commons

It is set to be a hot week as Sydney experiences a stunning heatwave that has proved as uncomfortable as it is dangerous with Sydney’s western suburbs being the worst hit.

Sunday saw the temperature of Penrith in Sydney’s west reach 47.3 degrees Celsius, being the hottest Sydney temperature on record since 1939. Penrith was also recorded as the hottest city on the planet at the time.

Australian and English cricket teams also suffered in the heat during the Ashes tournament with temperatures reaching the 50’s on the Sydney Cricket Ground. English team captain Joe Root had to be taken to hospital for treatment of severe dehydration.

Power supplier Ausgrid stated it was going to investigate several outages across Sydney and the Central Coast with roughly 14,000 customers being affected.

The RFS (Rural Fire Service) for New South Wales is on high alert with fire bans in place for Sydney and the Hunter Valley region. Additional fire crews have been put on standby as dry winds of 40-45 kilometres p/h are predicted.

Commissioner for the RFS, Shane Fitzsimmons, announced that the fire ban was covering areas with high risk fire conditions.

Weather analysts expect a cool southerly change to bring relief to the region by this Wednesday. Andrew Haigh from the Bureau of Meteorology stated that the changing winds would carry through Sydney on Tuesday evening.

As many Australians retreated to the beaches and waterparks to escape the heat, Surf Life Saving NSW has implored beach visitors to be cautious after several rescues on the weekend. A 19-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy had risked their lives to save a 19-year-old male from a rip on the NSW Mid North Coast at Tuncurry on Sunday evening.

The two friends managed to help the man swim to safety on shore where he was later taken to hospital and confirmed to be in a stable condition.

In another incident, two males ages 48 and 33 were sent to hospital after being rescued from unpatrolled beaches around Wollongong.

Steve Peace, the CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW, told beach goers to be extra careful when visiting the state’s beaches. He urged people to swim only in the designated areas where lifesavers could see them.

On Sunday morning a rock fisherman from Western Sydney, who did not have a life preserver, passed away after plummeting into the water at Currarong.

The sweltering hot weather across Sydney contrasts with similar extremes as the current ‘Bomb Cyclone’ snowstorm affects the eastern United States and Canada.