Camels from Oakfield Ranch were in the Christmas spirit earlier this week on the Birubi Beach sand dunes. Pictures: Ellie-Marie WattsTemperatures soared past the 40 degree mark across the Hunter on Wednesday as a heatwave engulfed the northern part of the state.
By midday,Maitland, Cessnock and Singleton had all hit 40degrees, while readings at Williamtown crept to 42.5.
Nobby’s Beach pushed to 39 degrees as Newcastle cityand the region sweltered in the dry heat.
At 3.26pm, Tocal was the hottest place in Australia with a 43.8 degree temperaturereading.
TheBureau of Meteorology (BOM) said aslow-moving high in the Tasman meant hot air was being drawn south towards the coastfrom central and northern parts of Australia.
A cold front that was expected to move through on Wednesday afternoon wasenabling the hottertemperatures to continue to move the whole way down the coast.
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“We will have some showers in the wake of that cooler change and then that shouldstart to clear off later on this week,” BOM’s Gabrielle Woodhouse said.
“We are looking at the chance of showers or thunderstorms[on Saturday and Sunday] and it does look be an afternoon feature again.”
Overnight respite is expected with the cooler change and temperatures are only predicted to be in the mid-20s on Thursday.
Weekend peaks will return to the 30-degree range, but nightly temperatures should sit at around 19-20 degrees.
Total fire ban’s are in place across the Hunter, Greater Sydney and North Western regions as fire danger ratings increased throughout the week.
The Greater Hunter and North Western regions moved from ‘Very High’ danger warnings to ‘Severe’ on Wednesday morning.
Fires in Lovedale and Patersonwere deemed to be under control as of Wednesday afternoon.
As of mid-afternoon on Wednesday, NSW Ambulance paramedics had attended 23 cases ofdizziness, fainting and entrapment acrossNorthern NSW, which was the highest call out region in the state.
Severe thunderstorms have also been predicted to role through Illawarra, Sydney and Newcastle on Wednesday evening. They are likely to produce large hailstones, damaging winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding.
NSW Severe T’Storm: Large Hail, Heavy Rain, Damaging Winds. Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Wollongong. #storm#NSW#hailhttps://t.co/ljheuiv6T5pic.twitter南京夜网/JvpWJnKLXE
— Lake Macquarie (@lakemac) December 20, 2017