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Perth has broken its record for the longest December heatwave in 70 years after it reached a sweltering 39C before midday.

The past seven consecutive days, including today, has seen maximums above 37C which was last seen in December 1942.

Beginning Christmas Day - Perth's fifth hottest on record at 39.6C - the mercury climbed to 40.5C on Saturday before falling to 37.5C yesterday, short of the forecast 40C.

Fortunately, the temperature is set to cool in the New Year with tomorrow expected to reach 34C and Wednesday jumping down to 27C.

People have packed out beaches all over the Metropolitan area.