November heat records could be broken on Saturday as the mercury climbs across New South Wales.
With no southerly change due until Sunday afternoon, the soaring temperatures will bring elevated bushfire risks not seen in the state since the devastation of last summer.
Helen Kirkup from the Bureau of Meteorology said Western Sydney would swelter, with Richmond, Penrith, Blacktown and Liverpool forecast to hit 41 degrees Celsius.
“For the city, we’ve currently got the maximum forecast at 39C, but I wouldn’t rule out that it could go slightly higher as the westerly winds keep pushing the sea breeze out,” she said.
“Tomorrow the westerly will come right through to the coast, so temperatures between the high 30s and well past 40C are expected until the change comes through.”
Ms Kirkup said weather records were expected to be broken as the hot weather set in overnight and stuck around for much of Sunday.
“We are borderline [breaking] records for November across the Sydney Metropolitan area, places up in the Hunter,” she said.
“We think the strong westerly wind that’s coming through will actually stop temperatures dropping overnight.”
Inland NSW is experiencing temperatures between 40C and 45C today, with Broken Hill expected to reach 44C and Wilcannia 45C.
“The potential of grass fires starting is probably the biggest concern,” Ms Kirkup said.
The southwest will experience the worst of the fire conditions on Saturday, before the sweltering weather moves through Sydney, the Hunter Region and north coast on Sunday.
NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Peter McKechnie has urged people to have a fire plan ready and prepare their properties.
“This is the first time since the devastating season last year we’ve seen widespread elevated fire danger,” he said on Friday.
“Know what to do if a fire threatens you, know where you’ll go.”
Last summer’s bushfires destroyed 2476 homes, claimed 26 lives and burned 5.5 million hectares of land.
A total fire ban has been declared for parts of the state due to the hot and windy conditions.
No fires can be lit in the Lower Central West Plains, Eastern Riverina, Southern Riverina, and Northern Riverina regions.
Total fire bans are also in place across parts of Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.