Temperature soars in the Illawarra

A woman enjoys an early morning swim at Austinmer last summer. The temperature reached 28 degrees in the Illawarra today, given residents a taste of the summer to come. Picture: KIRK GILMOURTwenty nine degrees.

No, you didn’t misread that: that was the maximum temperature in Sydney city today, the third warmest August day on record, meterologists say.

At 1pm it was 29 degrees across most of the city, Bureau of Meteorology spokesman David Barlow said.

The temperature at Sydney Airport reached 30 degrees at the same time.

Meantime, in the Illawarra, the temperature reached 28 degrees at Albion Park and 26 degrees at Kiama.

Mr Barlow said it was the third warmest August day on record, with days in 1995 and 1954 peaking at over 30 degrees.

But he said it was unlikely to reach the 1995 August record of 31 degrees.

“It is above average for August. It is late August, but 18 degrees is the average for Sydney and even in September the average is 20.

“We do get some mid to low 20s most years but then above 25 is unusual for August.”

At 12.45pm the temperature hit 29.4 degrees at Sydney Airport, 28.5 at Observatory Hill and 28.3 at Sydney Olympic Park, the bureau’s website said.

Bondi lifeguard Dean Gladstone said the beach was quiet this morning, but afternoon crowds were expected.

“With the warmer weather [earlier in the year] over the last few years we find people do come down when it hits.”

Mr Barlow said the warm weather was being caused by northerly winds.

“They’re warm and gusty northerly winds and that’s bringing down a lot of warm air from the north of Australia.

“[But] a cold front is moving across the state today.

“It’s due to reach Sydney later in the day and it will be windy when it does arrive, but basically once that passes over, you’ll get back towards average from tomorrow.”

The front, expected to hit Sydney this evening, may cause thunderstorms, and the bureau issued a coastal waters wind warning, predicting swell up to three metres.

A maximum of 20 degrees is predicted every day until Monday, before rising to the mid-20s later next week.

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