Thunderstorms arrive at peak hour
Sydney commuters can expect wild weather as they leave work with a thunderstorms moving in from the west and another to the city's north.
One storm cell is currently near Parramatta and heading towards the central business district, said Josh Fisher, head meteorologist with Weatherzone.
"This cell is bringing very heavy downpours," Mr Fisher said at 4.20pm. It should reach the CBD "right around 5pm", he said.
A fast-moving storm created strong winds and heavy rain in the western suburbs on Friday. Photo: Nick Moir
The fast-moving system was to continue east to suburbs including Randwick and Sydney Airport. While the rain was forecast to be brief, it was likely to be accompanied by strong wind gusts and possibly hailstones.
Another storm cell, currently moving east over the Hawkesbury Valley, may also slow commuter traffic as people head north out of Sydney, Mr Fisher said.
The stormy end to the week comes after temperatures in the city climbed above 30 degrees by late this morning and peaked at 31.8 degrees just after 3pm. That's the highest maximum since the mercury reached 45.8 degrees on January 18, a record for Sydney.
Rainfall should be in the 5-10mm range, although some regions on or west of the ranges may see totals of 30mm or more.
The Bureau of Meteorology cancelled its thunderstorm warning for Sydney, Newcastle,Wollongong and surrounding areas just before 5pm.
"The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary."
Sydney may also see thunderstorms on Saturday with temperatures rising to 29 degrees. Sunday, though, looks to be perfect beach weather with temperatures also peaking at 29, with light winds and mostly clear skies, according to Weatherzone.
Wet start to Easter
Sydney should see the recent run of mild daytime temperatures continue well into next week.
Another trough, however, should bring a burst of showers and cooler conditions by Good Friday, said Ben Domensino, a senior Weatherzone meteorologist.
That front looks likely to be strong enough to dislodge an unusually warm air mass over central Australia, and finally bring an end to the prolonged summer conditions over much of the country.
While Sydney has gone two months without a day of 30 degrees, Melbourne has had five days of 35 degrees or more in March alone, and may have a sixth one next Tuesday. The city would normally see just one such day in an average March.
Nationally, many heat records have been broken since November, including the hottest summer on record.
WA's Onslow Airport on Thursday broke one of the more obscure ones, with its reading of 45.6 degrees setting a new late-season heat record. Roebourne Airport, also in the Pilbara, broke that record on Wednesday and was already 37.6 degrees shortly after 9am, local time, on Friday, according to the weather bureau's website.
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