The first major heatwave of the season is about to hit New South Wales with temperatures expected to climb into the high-30s and mid-40s over the next few days.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the arrival of summer is imminent.
The heat will begin to affect the western parts of the state from today, before moving towards the East Coast heading into the weekend.
The rising mercury has prompted warnings around increased fire risk, with authorities urging residents to monitor the situation closely.
"On this occasion, we will see temperatures drop a little bit overnight, but when you're dealing with a couple of days in a row of well-above 40 degrees, it is pretty much getting into severe heatwave territory," BOM meteorologist Helen Reid said.
"The dryness is coming from that continental inland Australian air and it will also be quite windy.
"Temperatures will be climbing easily into the mid-40s for vast swathes of the western part of the state and even into the low-40s for some coastal areas.
"There'll be areas that will pick up just a little bit above 40 degrees, through places like the Hunter Valley, even the western parts of the Sydney metro area are likely to get into the low 40s.
"If you're hanging out up in the north-west slopes, you'll be catching 40s even into Monday."
To hit the official criteria for a heatwave, the BOM requires "three days or more of high maximum and minimum temperatures that are unusual for that location".
Increased fire risk could see total fire bans
Total fire bans could be on the cards, Inspector Ben Shepherd from the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) said.
"With this heatwave, we can expect to see increased fire risk, particularly across the weekend as we start to really see that heat take hold, coupled with some very strong winds," he said.
"There is the likelihood that we could see some total fire bans put in place.
"It's important that over the coming days that people review their bushfire survival plans and prepare their properties.
"We want people to have that discussion about what they'll do if impacted by fire, not just for the coming days but for the coming weeks as well.
"With that increased risk, particularly west of the divide, it's important that people also set watch zones for the areas that they're visiting or working in through the Fires Near Me app.
"Listen to the radio, watch the RFS website and also the app, and keep yourself informed about fires that may be close to you."ABC