Temperatures across greater Sydney cleared 30 degrees on Thursday before a « classic southerly buster » provided cool relief in the afternoon.
Temperatures reached 30 to 32 at most measuring stations across the city, as a northerly wind moved in from the north-west of the state.
However, the mercury dropped suddenly just before 5pm in southern parts of the city, before reaching the western parts shortly after.
« It’s a classic Sydney southerly buster, » Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Helen Kirkup said. « When we move into spring, we do get these real switches in the weather as we settle into summer conditions. »
Winds reached 78km/h near Sydney Airport during the late afternoon, and were above 50km/h to 60km/h in most other parts of the city.
A maximum temperature of 20 degrees and a possible shower are forecast for Friday, although Ms Kirkup said it was more likely to be windy than wet.
A strong wind warning was in place for coastal areas in Sydney, the Illawarra and the South Coast.
The cooler temperatures will remain in the city over the weekend, with maximums of 22 and 23 forecast for Saturday and Sunday respectively.
RFS spokesperson Ben Shepherd warned that Sydneysiders would « see and smell that smoke », but it was important the necessary work was done « now » ahead of higher than usual rain activity forecast for spring.
« It is windy and we do consider that, but we also have a southerly blowing in with the chance of showers, » he said, noting that some fire agencies conducting the work had changed their lighting patterns due to the weather.
Scheduled burns on Sydney’s northern beaches were postponed due to moisture levels following rain activity earlier in the week.
« We’re tracking the possibility of some showers and storms tonight which might postpone some burns later in the week, but at this stage, today’s gone very well. »
He warned of smoke at Kurrajong and Wiseman’s Ferry, but said that, thanks to the southerly, the Sydney basin should be « mostly clear » of smoke by Friday morning.
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Sydney, Southerly Buster, Bureau of Meteorology
World news – AU – Sydney hits 30 degrees before ‘classic southerly buster’ chills weekend