NSW will usher in the first day of summer with another stint of steaming hot weather, after a reprieve of only one day.
Inland NSW is set to bear the brunt of the sweltering weather, with authorities particularly worried about the growing risk of grass fires.
Parts of Sydney – including the city – broke the 40C barrier for a second straight day on Sunday.
Swathes of western NSW, South Australia and northern Victoria baked through even higher Saturday temperatures approaching 45C.
A gusty southerly arrived late on Sunday afternoon, quickly dropping temperatures by more than 10C in areas including Sydney.
It continued to bring respite from the warmer weather across most of NSW on Monday, but high temperatures are forecast to return on Tuesday.
While coastal Sydney will experience temperatures in the low 30s, western Sydney and huge swathes of inland NSW will surpass 40C.
“Tuesday will be a repeat of the conditions we experienced yesterday,” Bureau of Meteorology NSW Manager Agata Imielska told reporters on Monday.
“For some of these locations, these temperatures were more what we would expect in a summer heatwave.”
RFS crews battled more than 60 bush and grass fires across the state on Sunday, and RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers warned Tuesday could also be a tough day for firefighters in inland NSW.
“Coastal areas should still have a bit of a coastal sea breeze effect but nonetheless it’s going to be really hot,” Mr Rogers told reporters.
Last summer’s bushfires destroyed 2476 homes and killed 26 people in NSW.