Australia Weather News

People are flocking to Lake Parramatta to escape the heat. - ABC

November heat records could be broken today as the mercury climbs across New South Wales — and there is no southerly change due until Sunday afternoon.

Helen Kirkup from the Bureau of Meteorology said Western Sydney would swelter, with Richmond, Penrith, Blacktown and Liverpool forecast to hit 41 degrees Celsius.

"For the city, we've currently got the maximum forecast at 39C, but I wouldn't rule out that it could go slightly higher as the westerly winds keep pushing the sea breeze out," she said.

"Tomorrow the westerly will come right through to the coast, so temperatures between the high 30s and well past 40C are expected until the change comes through."

Ms Kirkup said weather records were expected to be broken as the hot weather set in overnight and stuck around for much of Sunday.

"We are borderline [breaking] records for November across the Sydney Metropolitan area, places up in the Hunter," she said.

"We think the strong westerly wind that's coming through will actually stop temperatures dropping overnight."

Inland NSW is experiencing temperatures between 40C and 45C today, with Broken Hill expected to reach 44C and Wilcannia 45C.

"The potential of grass fires starting is probably the biggest concern," Ms Kirkup said.

A total fire ban has been declared for parts of New South Wales today due to the hot and windy conditions.

No fires can be lit in the Lower Central West Plains, Eastern Riverina, Southern Riverina, and Northern Riverina regions.

Total fire bans are also in place across parts of Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers warned the rapid spread of grass fires could catch people unawares.

"If those fires do start, particularly in those grassland areas, they'll move really, really quickly," he said.

"People don't want to get caught in front of a grassfire.

"They're different to a bushfire. They burn really hot really quick."

Beachgoers were encouraged to socially distance today by keeping one towel-length away from people who are not part of their household.

At Manly Beach, in Sydney's North Shore, the sand was partitioned to allow people access to the water.

George Shales from Surf Life Saving New South Wales said tomorrow's cool change could bring hazards to coastal spots, with fisherman and boaters encouraged to be careful.

"It's really important, conditions on coastal fringes are changing and they can change very quickly so please ensure what your level of competence is," he said.