Sydney, Australia sees hottest day in more than 70 years

NSW is set to sizzle on Sunday. Source Bureau of Meteorology

NSW is set to sizzle on Sunday. Source Bureau of Meteorology

Sunday's temperatures just fell short of the scorching heat to hit the area in 1939, when the mercury reached 47.8°C.

"Meantime with the arch rivalry between the Australian and English cricket teams being played-out in the Ashes Test Series at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) meteorologists advised fans to "#slipslopslapseekslide".

There's a total fire ban in place for the Greater Sydney and Hunter regions, as much of Australia's east struggles through the record heatwave.

The heat took its toll on French star Kristina Mladenovic, who retired midway through her match citing heat stress.

So, while brutally cold temperatures hit the USA, emergency services in Sydney prepared residents on the other side of the equator for dangers of a different sort.

New South Wales state Bureau of Meteorology said it had initially believed the heat to be an all-time record, topping one from February 2017, where temperatures edged 47C.

Journalist Jamie Pandaram also wrote on Twitter that the heat had prevented photographers from doing their work.

Temperatures were expected to remain in the high 30s to early 40s Celsius Monday and the fire ban would be continued, it said.

In September 2017, Australians were warned to prepare for a unsafe bushfire season after one of the driest winters on record.

Numerous blazes had already sprung up on Saturday, with several homes and buildings lost in bushfires in the states of Victoria and South Australia.

Experts have also warned that climate change had pushed up land and sea temperatures, leading to more extremely hot days and severe fire seasons.

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