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Sydney set to sizzle
Temperatures are set to top 40 degrees in Sydney's west on Friday, with heat and bushfire warnings in place for several parts of New South Wales.
Meteorologists are predicting the city will top 31 degrees on Friday, and the temperature will soar as high as 40 in Penrith and Richmond.
And it's expected to get even hotter on Saturday.
"For the city, there's likely to be a larger temperature range between the two days because today is likely to be affected by a sea breeze," Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino said.
"Whereas tomorrow, it's looking like the westerly winds may be strong enough to hold out that sea breeze.
"If that happens then the city may even reach the high 30s."
If you found yourself tossing and turning last night, it's because it was the hottest night in Sydney since February at a minimum of 21 degrees.
Mr Domensino said the heat was coming from central Australia.
"An approaching trough is directing that heat towards the NSW coast. It's peaking today and tomorrow."
Much of the state will experience the heatwave and NSW Health is promoting its "Beat the Heat" message.
It advises people to drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun, keep cool, and watch out for elderly neighbours and relatives.
State emergency operations controller, Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Murdoch, warned people not to leave their children or pets in cars, even for a short time.
"It doesn't take long for the temperature inside the car to soar, and for the effects of the heat to take hold," Mr Murdoch said in a statement.
"You might think it is inconvenient to take your child or pet with you, even if it is to go and pay for petrol or pop into a shop, but alternative could be worse.
"And for those who will flock to beaches, the rivers or pools to try to escape the heat and cool down, beware of the dangers of drinking alcohol and being out in the sun all day – it's not a good mix."
The water temperature at Sydney beaches is expected to be about 21 degrees.
Along the NSW coast the fire danger is high, with a total fire ban in the Northern Riverina area, according to the Rural Fire Service.
But RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said much of the state was expected to have Very High danger ratings on Saturday.
"The forecast weather is a timely reminder that summer is here and people should ensure both their family and their property are prepared.
"Already this year firefighters have battled more than 3,800 bush and grass fires and they will
be on stand by to fight any fires that may break out this weekend.
"While our firefighters are well equipped, highly trained and dedicated, I am asking the community to join them by preparing before it is too late.
"Anyone without a Bush Fire Survival Plan needs to get one now."
Information about Bushfire Survival Plans can be found on the RFS website.
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