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Cottesloe Beach attracted many trying to escape the Christmas heat.
The West Australian Cottesloe Beach attracted many trying to escape the Christmas heat.

Perth is experiencing one of the hottest Christmas Day's on record with forecasters predicting a six-day Christmas heatwave.

The mercury rose to a maximum of 38.3 degrees just before midday today, the sixth hottest Christmas Day on record.

The hottest ever recorded Christmas Day was in 1968 which reached a maximum of 42 degrees.

The hot weather and calm conditions prompted many to head to Perth beaches for their Christmas festivities.

A south-westerly sea breeze is expected to arrive early this afternoon, bringing down temperatures to a low of 22 degrees tonight.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology's seven-day forecast, today will be the first day of a Christmas heatwave with temperatures to top 37 degrees for the next five days.

A top of 37 degrees is forecast for Boxing Day, 39 degrees on Thursday and Friday and 40 degrees for both Saturday and Sunday.

There is a strong wind warning tonight for Perth coastal waters.

Winds east to north-easterly of 15-20 km/h will shift south-westerly 20-30 km/h in the early afternoon.

The seas are at 1m and will rise to 2-2.5m in the afternoon.

The swell is 1m.