Parts of Sydney have broken the 40-degree barrier and swathes of western NSW, South Australia and northern Victoria are baking through even higher temperatures.
Sydney’s Observatory Hill in the CBD recorded a top of 40.8C just after 3pm, while Badgerys Creek in Sydney’s west recorded a top of 47.2C at 12.26pm.
The Sydney airport recorded 41.7C and massive crowds were seen flocking to the eastern beaches for some respite.
It is the first stint of elevated temperatures since the catastrophic 2019-20 bushfire season, and multiple severe and extreme warnings have been issued across multiple states.
“We're pretty concerned about elevated fire dangers across the state already seeing severe fire danger through inland New South Wales the Riverina in particular, it's very windy out there already 40 degrees expected to get up to 45,” the Bureau of Meteorology's Jane Golding said at a press conference on Saturday.
Ms Golding said records for the warmest overnight minimums in some parts of NSW likely tumbled on Friday night, while daytime records could also be shattered in the coming days.
South Australia followed up a scorching Friday with a similarly warm Saturday, with temperatures hitting 46C in Port Augusta and Coober Pedy.
Northwest Victoria is also feeling the heat, with temperatures in Mildura on Saturday reaching 45C.
NSW and Sydney will swelter until at least late on Sunday afternoon, when a gusty southerly comes through and cools temperatures for Monday.
"It'll be a really long, uncomfortable night (on Saturday) and then a really long hot day and then a really windy southerly change," Ms Golding said.
"The body doesn't really get much respite, it's quite hard."
Temperatures across NSW would then spike again on Tuesday as heatwave conditions envelope inland areas.
Social distancing encouraged, amid heatstroke warning
NSW Ambulance Inspector Kay Armstrong confirmed that due to the heat they are experiencing an increased number of calls.
“Obviously the beachfront is quite busy and I'm would like to stress to people to be sensible with this heat,” Insp Armstrong said.
“Drink lots of water. Get into the shade, don't be out in this hate in the middle of the day. Look after yourselves re hydrate continuously.”
Insp Armstrong said there had been a few calls regarding heatstroke and injuries on the beach, but as of midday it had been somewhat of a normal day for NSW Ambulance.
“But as I said it's probably going to warm up during the day and get quite busy for us in a ambulance,” she said.
Insp Armstrong also confirmed a woman had been pulled form the water at Bronte beach on Saturday morning.
“I believe she's fine and she's been transported to hospital by NSW ambulance paramedics,” she said, stressing people should take care at the beach.
George Shales, President of Surf Life Saving NSW, said lifesavers were well prepared to manage the increased activity on beaches across Sydney today.
He then stressed the importance of social distancing on the beaches, to avoid the spread of Covid-19.
“We're advising as as the community is to, to ensure that you stay safe in terms of social distancing,” he said.
“And we will work with the appropriate services being the lifeguard and the police and the ambulance services, should we identify that we are feeling unsafe or there is an unsafe environment that we have to operate in.”
Despite the crowds, Mr Shales said he was not aware of any beach closures.
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