SYDNEY has been placed on bushfire alert with temperatures to soar above 40 degrees in the city's west.
A high pressure system over the Tasman Sea is directing a hot air mass across Australia's southern and eastern states causing northerly and north-westerly winds ranging between 15 to 35km/h in Sydney- a contributing factor to the risk of fire spreading.
The NSW RFS has declared a total fire ban for the Greater Sydney and the Illawarra/Shoalhaven regions due to an incoming heatwave bringing with it soaring temperatures, dry conditions and strong winds.
Total Fire Bans will be in place for the Greater Sydney Region and the Illawarra/Shoalhaven tomorrow Thursday 14 December. Severe fire danger is forecast in these areas. #NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/c8D8GvcrpC— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) December 13, 2017
The Bureau of Meteorology, meanwhile, has issued a fire weather warning for Sydney due to the extreme temperatures and "very hot, dry and gusty north-westerly winds".
Temperatures are set to soar to 42C in the city's west with Penrith expected to cop the brunt of the heatwave.
A Total Fire Ban is now in place for the Greater Sydney & Illawarra/Shoalhaven areas. Severe fire danger forecast. Discuss your plan with the family this morning. https://t.co/EkQp8gBNbG #NSWRFS #nswfires pic.twitter.com/aEJNk4Xd40— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) December 13, 2017
Liverpool, Richmond and Parramatta meanwhile are bracing for 41C while the city will be only a fraction cooler with a predicted top of 37C.
Bondi, however, may be the place to be today with a much lower top of 30C forecast.
Sydneysiders are being advised to protect themselves from heat and sun damage as well as minimise the already high risk of fire.
The RFS are advising people to be prepared and start planning with their families in the morning to be ready for anything.
Overheating residents are reminded to drink lots of water, keep the body cool, take care of the elderly and children and have a plan in case circumstances become dire.
A spokesperson from the Bureau of Meteorology said thunderstorms are forecast in the early evening but aren't expected to bring heavy rainfall.
The NSW Rural Fire Service is urging residents to "remain vigilant" and "keep up to date" on what is going on with the weather and warned that winds could reach speeds of up to 60km/h in some areas.
"The severe weather warning is due to a combination of the forecast, strong winds getting up as high as 60km through Nowra, Bowral and Blue Mountains," NSW RFS Inspector Ben Sheperd said.
At this stage the heat is expected to "back off" on coastal areas but the heat state-wide is likely to remain for well in to next week according to Shepherd.
"By next Wednesday it could reach up to 40 again. We want people to ensure they're prepared and have a plan."
Penrith - 42C
Richmond - 41C
Parramatta - 41C
Liverpool - 41C
Campbeltown - 40C
Sydney - 37C
Terrey Hills - 36C
Bondi - 30C
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