The last time Sydney recorded a day of 32 degrees or more was December 19, 2021.
The heatwave is expected to send temperatures skyrocketing in the western suburbs, with Penrith forecast to hit a maximum of 39 degrees on Saturday.
Helen Reid of the Bureau of Meteorology said the heatwave was the result of hot air accumulating in the atmosphere across Australia, affecting temperatures across the country.
“It just really happens when there’s no significant change in the line-up that we have at the moment,” she said.
“We have a sustained active monsoon phase over North Queensland and also in the Northern Territory and we haven’t really had many cold fronts in the south.”
The record heat will hit north-west Australia hardest, with temperatures expected to reach 50 degrees in some parts of Western Australia’s West Pilbara district.
“There are little faint troughs that run through, but they don’t break up the atmosphere that much,” she said.
“It’s allowing that heat to just keep coming in from the north and just keep building and not cooling down.”
The NSW Rural Fire Service issued an alert ahead of the heatwave, warning that the event could lead to bushfires.
“Increased temperatures will mean increased fire risks in many parts of the state, with some areas likely to face high and extreme fire risks,” the RFS said in a statement.
The bureau has warned anyone who may be affected by the heatwave to stay cool in the coming days.
“Close your windows and draw blinds, curtains or awnings early in the day to keep the heat out of your home,” the statement said.
“If available, use fans or air conditioners to stay cool.”
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https://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/sydney-ready-for-its-hottest-day-since-2021-20230216-p5cl21.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_environment city to reach the hottest temperature in 426 days