MAXIMUM and minimum temperature records have been matched and surpassed in parts of the Hunter as the statewide heatwave engulfing NSW continues to apply a blowtorch to the region.
With hours of daylight left to burn on Thursday, the Bureau of Meteorology noted it was already updating some of its record books as temperatures soar across the state and the region.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Anita Pyne said on Thursday afternoon that Friday continued to shape as the hottest day of the heatwave, with some areas experiencing sustained heat for the first time since they began measurements.
“We are expecting this heat to continue through Thursday and Friday with the possibility to see some more temperature records broken, not only maximum temperature records but also hottest overnight records as well,” Ms Pyne said.
“Throughout NSW I’m expecting it to be above average by quite a long way [on Friday].”
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At Haydon Street in Murrurundi the mercury’s 41.6 degrees eclipsed the previous January record, 41.2 degrees recorded in January 3 in 2014.
The measurement fell slightly short of 2017’s overall record temperature at that weather station, which stands at 42.2 degrees on February 12 that year.
At Murrurundi Gap, the 39.2 degrees surpassed the previous January record (38.3 degrees on January 12 2013) and inched just over a degree short of the 40.5 degree overall record from February 12 2017.
In Nelson Bay, it was the minimum temperature that matched a January record, with the 24 degree reading on par with Australia Day last year.
It was 2.1 degrees short of the record 26.1 degree minimum from February 8 1971.
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Health authorities have already reported a rise in heat-related incidences across the state.
The Bureau of Meteorology said it expected Friday to be the peak of the heatwave statewide, with the majority of NSW forecast to exceed 42 degrees on both Thursday and Friday.
“The last time this occurred was in 1939, when seven consecutive days exceeded 41 degrees,” the bureau said in a statement.
Elsewhere, Broken Hills is forecast to have four days above or at 45 degrees for the first time since records began in 1957.
Canberra is expected to be over 40 degrees for four days in a first since 1939.