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Weekend high: Sydney almost sets heat record

Weekend high: Sydney almost sets heat record

Temperatures are expected to drop after a high yesterday of 35.8 degrees, with cool and mostly dry conditions.

On Sunday, the city was originally forecast to hit 40 degrees, but shot past that before midday.

Record-breaking heat has hit southeastern Australia over the past few days leading to widespread fire bans as temperatures passed 40 degrees Celsius.

The suburb of Penrith, west of the city, bore the brunt of the heat, according to the Bureau of Meteorology for New South Wales.

The Rural Fire Service has issued a total fire ban for the Greater Sydney and Hunter Regions, with Sydney being given a severe fire rating.

NSW residents are being told to prepare for a scorcher of a weekend, with warnings to drink plenty of water and to take care in the surf, and prepare properties for the increased bushfire danger. If people are considering leaving their homes they should "leave early", the RFS said.

"A NSW Health study published just last month found extreme heatwaves lead to a more than 10 per cent increase in both deaths and ambulance callouts", Dr Ben Scalley, Director of Environmental Health, said in a statement on Friday.

Beaches were packed today in Sydney Australia
EPA FLOCK Beaches were packed today in Sydney Australia

Sydney is forecast to have poor air quality on Sunday which can especially affect people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

NSW Police deputy commissioner Catherine Burn says the state's heatwave plan has been activated to ensure a coordinated response from all emergency services.

A teenage girl has been charged with starting a fire that damaged one home and threatened dozens more in Melbourne's southeast.

"They put a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke".

Warnings were issued urging people to look after the elderly and babies in the heat and not to leave animals or people inside cars, even with the windows wound down slightly.

In other incidents, two men aged 33 and 48 remain in hospital in a critical condition after being pulled from unpatrolled beaches near Wollongong - one at Bulli's Sandon Point and the other further south near Port Kembla.

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