A SOUTHERLY change and thunderstorms are set to bring much needed respite to parts of the country in the grips of a heatwave.
Wild weather already lashed Victoria last night with destructive storms damaging cars and property.
It also left 26,000 homes without power this morning.
The storm sent the mercury plunging from 37C to 24C in just 10 minutes as the cool change swept across the state.
While Melbourne can expect a milder 25C today, those living in Sydney are continuing to sweat through a heatwave.
However, forecasters predict a cool change is on the way and the heatwave will finally come to an end.
He said the southerly will hit as a bluster and coastal suburbs should see temperatures drop from the 30s to the low 20s by late this afternoon.
“This follows a very warm night — the city’s minimum stayed above 25C, the warmest night since last summer,” Mr Saunders said.
“Penrith’s maximum of 44.1C on Tuesday and minimum of 25.3C today are the highest for December on record — in 23 years of data.”
NSW is still in for a hot day with Sydney expected to reach a top of 36C, which is 11C above average and the hottest day since February.
Canberra is expecting a high of 28C — 2C above average and 6C below yesterday’s 34C scorcher.
Penrith will hit 42C, which is 13C above average while Orange will hit 29C.
Scorched Tamworth will hit 40C, which is 10C above average.
Authorities have warned people to stay out of direct sunlight, drink plenty of water and never leave children or pets in cars.
The NSW RFS has issued total fire bans for the Greater Sydney Region, The Hunter Region and North Western NSW, with the three areas facing severe fire danger ratings.
The heat has also prompted electricity provider Ausgrid to cancel planned maintenance outages on the Central Coast and Hunter region today.
Mr Saunders said the storms which lashed Victoria yesterday provided welcome relief from the heat across the state.
“Yesterday, the front swept across Victoria and brought severe thunderstorms,” he said.
“Hail was reported from Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, Laverton had a wind gust of 98km/h while the city recorded 21mm of rain in just 20 minutes.
“The trough and front will trigger storms across NSW today, although we do not expect the activity to be as widespread as it was in Victoria yesterday.”
Mr Saunders said severe thunderstorms were still possible over central NSW today, which may include parts of Sydney.
Fire warnings also remain in place across parts of the state.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald