July weather record tumbles as temperature tops 26 degrees

July weather record tumbles as temperature tops 26 degrees

The winter weather record has tumbled as Sydney experienced its warmest July day on record with the temperature topping 26 degrees at Observatory Hill.

Scarves were traded for shorts as the mercury rose throughout the day, reaching 26.5 degrees at 2:10pm, creeping above the previous record of 25.9 degrees set on July 24, 1990.

With the temperature reaching 18 degrees at Observatory Hill by 9am, many people headed to the beach where the water temperature was 18.7 degrees.

By noon, the temperature had hit 21.7 degrees before climbing to 25.9 degrees at 1:20pm, data from the Bureau of Meteorology shows.

The spring-like conditions were caused by a warmer air mass moving across the coast with accompanying westerly winds.

Australian research published in Nature Climate Change last week found that El Nino events, which cause unusually warm weather in the eastern equatorial Pacific, will double in frequency. El Nino events have far reaching consequences such as droughts in Australia and heavy rain in other parts of the southern hemisphere.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, June was the second driest nationally on record and July looks like being another relatively dry month.

The dry weather and warmer temperatures have led to concerns from the NSW Rural Fire Service that this year’s bushfire season could start earlier than usual.

Last year’s bushfire season was described by the RFS as the “worst fire conditions ever recorded in NSW”, with more than 11,000 fires burning 277,434 hectares and destroying 65 properties

The NSW RFS is taking advantage of the conditions to conduct a number of hazard reduction burns across the state, including parts of Hornsby and Penrith.

The thick smoke which blanketed Sydney on Saturday has cleared with data from the Office of Environment and Heritage showing that the air quality for most of the city was very good on Sunday.

Showers forecast for Monday will break the run of dry weather with a 60 per cent chance of rain, most likely in the late morning.

The rest of the week is forecast to be cooler with a top of 20 degrees on Monday.

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