NSW has had no shortage of warm days this winter and it's about to get even hotter.
Based on average maximum temperatures, NSW had its warmest June in nine years and the warmest July in 15 years.
This warmth was felt most notably west of the ranges, where Bathurst, Dubbo and Walgett all had their warmest June and July in more than two decades.
At the end of last month, a number of areas had their hottest July day on record, including Brewarrina (30.2C), Inverell (22.6C), Mungindi (29.9C), Gulgong (22.4C), Goulburn (19C) and Griffith (23.6C). All of these records occurred in July 30.
Stubborn high pressure systems over eastern Australia during the last two months have directed warm air from northern and central Australia into NSW.
This pattern has also limited the northward progression of seasonal cold fronts, leading to below average winter rainfall over inland NSW so far this season.
The Murray Darling Basin had its driest June in 31 years and NSW as a whole observed its driest June-July period since 2002.
Now, another stubborn area of high pressure system is about take up residence over eastern Australia and it’s going send the warmest air so far this season across the state next week.
Temperatures are likely to climb 5 to 10 degrees above average in parts of NSW between Monday and Thursday, with highs of 33 to 35 degrees possible in the state’s far north. Some coastal locations could see their first 30 degree day of the season.
Only two weather stations in NSW have recorded temperatures above 30 degrees so far this winter: Brewarrina (30.2C) and Walgett (30.1C) on July 30. This list is going to grow substantially next week.
While it’s still too early to forecast next week’s maximum temperatures with a high degree of confidence, the impending late-winter warmth has the potential to challenge August heat records.
Tibooburra could reach 32 to 33 degrees based on current computer models, which is close to its August record of 34.1 degrees.
Temperatures could nudge 30 degrees in the Hunter district during the middle of next week, possibly taking Taree close to its highest August temperature of 31.4 degrees.
A cold front will flush the heat out of NSW by the end of next week, allowing temperatures to return closer to average for this time of year.