Sydney has recorded its hottest November night on record, with daytime temperatures expected to hit 40C on Sunday. The Australian city recorded a minimum overnight temperature of 25.4C.
The heat has prompted the New South Wales Fire Service to issue a total fire ban for most of the eastern and northeastern parts of the state.
Temperatures over the weekend have also soared in other parts of the country including South Australia and Victoria.
Sydney’s record temperature was recorded at Observatory Hill, in the CBD. By 04:30, the temperature had risen back up to 30C, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The previous record at Observatory Hill was 24.8C in 1967.
The New South Wales health department has reminded people to keep to social distancing regulations in order to stop the potential spread of coronavirus.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has predicted a five or six-day heatwave in parts of northern NSW and southeast Queensland.
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) has warned of a “very high to severe fire danger forecast” in eastern and northeastern parts of New South Wales (NSW).
There are currently 45 bush and grass fires burning in the state. One blaze is threatening homes in the west of Sydney.
On Friday, RFS Deputy Commissioner Peter McKechnie urged people to have fire plans ready.
“This is the first time since the devastating season last year we’ve seen widespread elevated fired danger,” he said.
The bushfire season of 2019-20 saw fires sweep across 24 million hectares of land. It was Australia’s most intense bushfire season on record, though not its most deadly.
The blazes affected every Australian state, destroyed over 3,000 homes, and killed or displaced nearly three billion animals. At least 33 people were killed.