Firefighters warn that Australia's New South Wales region faces "catastrophic" fire conditions Sunday as strong winds push hot air across a region already parched by a heat wave.
Residents are urged to avoid or leave bushfire-prone areas.
Australia is sweltering today under an intense heatwave with temperatures in the mid to late 40s...Celsius.
Our friends at Weatherzone in Australia have been tweeting the big headlines this afternoon:
The heatwave across the country is expected to worsen over the weekend, with Rural Fire Services warning of potentially catastrophic fire conditions.
The Bureau of Meteorology said New South Wales could face its hottest February day on record, as temperatures are expected to reach 47 degrees Celsius in western parts of the state.
Brace yourself, Australia: it's going to be like an oven out there for large swathes of the country.
Parts of Australia's south and east will swelter through 40-plus temperatures today as severe heatwave conditions continue to develop.
As school goes back this week the scorching summer-holiday-heat is sticking around.
From Monday to Sunday Sydney city is likely to average lows of 23-24 degrees and highs of 33. This is more than five degrees hotter than the January average of 19 to 26.
It's a hot day in eastern and south-eastern Australia while much of New Zealand has a cooler, windier, cloudy day.
The stark comparison is no surprise to New Zealanders after rare weekend frosts and heavy mountain snow in the South Island. In fact snow also fell on the North Island mountains.
A couple of scorchers are on the way for Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney over the next few days. How hot will it get?
The last time Sydneysiders were subjected to such a hot morning commute, Robert Menzies was Prime Minister.
Sydney set its highest-ever 9am temperature on Wednesday, with the city reaching 36.5C, beating the previous record of 35C set in December 1955.
The sweltering morning came after a sticky summer night, with temperatures not dropping below 28C in the CBD.