Residents and emergency services across NSW are expecting hot, windy weather today that could result in bushfires and dust storms with a total fire ban declared for the entire state.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rebecca Farr said temperatures were expected to reach the high 30s in much of the state, hitting 40 degrees in the far north-west.
In the Mountains temperatures are expected to reach daytime maximums of between 29 to 35 from Springwood, right up to Katoomba. It’s currently 32 in Springwood (11.30am) and just under 20 in Katoomba.
Penrith is set to reach 38 degrees, Liverpool is forecast to reach 37 and Campbelltown is set for a top 36. Most of Sydney, including the city and east, is forecast to reach a top of 37 degrees today [Tuesday].
Coupled with strong winds, the temperatures will result in an elevated fire danger across NSW - especially in the state's east.
"We’re seeing a dry front approach from the west to move into the region, bringing gusty and strong windy conditions, with winds up to gale force expected," Ms Farr said.
"With these dry, hot and windy conditions, we are seeing elevated fire dangers for much of the state, with severe and even extreme areas, particularly in the east of the state including the ACT and Sydney."
The dry winds are also expected to kick up dust in the state's drought-affected west, potentially blowing it towards the coast.
Whether that results in a repeat of the dust cloud that enveloped Sydney in November depends on a number of other factors, Ms Farr said, but if it does happen it is likely to reach Canberra in the afternoon and Sydney in the evening.
"It's too early to tell yet; we’ll be closely monitoring throughout the day tomorrow to see how much dust we see raised or not," she said.
Sydney won't feel relief from the heat until about midnight, when a cool change moving up the South Coast reaches the city, Ms Farr said.
The elevated fire dangers are set to continue for the north-east of the state on Wednesday until that change makes its way through.
On Wednesday temperatures will turn to a cooler 26 degrees in the city, 23 at Bondi but it will still be a warm 30 in Penrith and 29 in Liverpool.