Sydney swelters in hottest day since 1939 as mercury hits 47.3C

Australia set to swelter as temperatures top 45C

The city of Sydney recorded its hottest day on Sunday with the mercury hitting 47.3 degrees Celsius after nearly 80 years, according to Australian weather authorities.

Sydney is expected to cool slightly on Monday, with a high of 33 forecast and a possible chance of rainfall according to the BOM.

As the mercury in Penrith - which is around 50 kilometres inland from the CBD - hit an all-time high, temperatures in the city also climbed well above 40 degrees Celsius before a cool sea breeze arrived at around 1:30pm.

Rural Fire Service (RFS) spokesman James Morris has warned the public against becoming complacent about the risk of fires.

"We've seen over the past month, fires that we've had haven't necessarily been burning on days of severe or above-fire-danger rating ... the fuel is dry out there, the fuel's dry all around NSW".

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Severe fire warnings were issued in the greater Sydney area and fire bans were put in place across the city and other states.

Experts from the Bureau of Meteorology - perhaps befuddled by the sweltering conditions - initially said it was metropolitan Sydney's hottest day ever.

City temperatures at Observatory Hill reached a high of 43.4 degrees Celsius - the hottest day in five years.

Richmond reached 46.3 degrees Celsius just after 2.30 p.m., while the temperature in Bankstown exceeded 45 degrees Celsius. If people are considering leaving their homes they should leave early, it said.

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