Sydneysiders have slept a little easier overnight after a cool change brought respite from two consecutive days of scorching pre-summer heat.
Parts of Sydney – including the city – broke the 40C barrier for a second straight day on Sunday after swathes of western NSW, South Australia and northern Victoria baked through even higher Saturday temperatures approaching 45C.
The mercury pushed past 40C in many Sydney suburbs, including Penrith, Canterbury, Bankstown and Holsworthy.
Temperatures across the Hunter to the state’s north were also well in excess of 40C, hitting 41.9C at Cessnock Airport.
A gusty southerly arrived late on Sunday afternoon, quickly dropping temperatures by more than 10C in some areas as it moved north.
An overnight minimum of 18C was forecast for the city, about 7C cooler than Observatory Hill’s record minimum of 25.3C on Saturday.
The change is expected to bring cooler temperatures for Monday before the heat returns to NSW from Tuesday.
Southeast and southern Queensland are also likely to experience elevated temperatures from Monday, with no respite until at least Thursday.
Total fire bans remain in place on Monday in NSW’s Northern Slopes and North Western districts.
RFS crews battled more than 60 bush and grass fires across the state on Sunday including a blaze in the western Sydney suburb of Northmead which damaged a home.