Sydney residents have endured the city’s hottest December night and the second hottest night on record, according to reports. People were still on the beach long after dark after spending the day out in temperatures of 37.8C (100F) on Tuesday.
A minimum of 27.1C (80.8F) was recorded in Australia’s largest city in the early hours of Wednesday, according to Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jordan Notara.
That tops the previously hottest December minimum night-time temperature on record of Christmas Day 1868, when the temperature was recorded at 26.3C (79.3F). “It was mainly due to the hot day yesterday when we didn’t have the sea breeze cool things down as significantly as it could have,” Mr Notara said.
The city is predicted to reach 38C later in the day, up on an average of 25.2C (77.4F) and beaches, rivers and swimming pools are likely to be crowded once again as people try to keep cool.
Electricity supplier Endeavour Energy said it had managed to keep up with demand for air conditioning and was prepared for the hot weather to continue. However, southerly winds coming in late on Wednesday afternoon are expected to bring cooler weather to Sydney.
The hottest-ever overnight minimum temperature recorded in the city of five million people was on 6 February 2011 when it reached 27.6C (81.7F).
Authorities put in place a total fire ban – meaning no fires out in the open to limit the chance of bushfires starting – across Sydney and the surrounding region due to the sweltering temperatures.
Records have been kept at Sydney’s Observatory Hill weather station since 1859.