Lower Hunter residents tried to keep their cool on Monday as temperatures reached the high 30s in the first of a string of sweltering days forecast for the region.
The mercury reached 36 degrees in Maitland at 2pm on Monday, while Cessnock recorded 37.1 degrees at 2.30pm.
Little reprieve has been predicted for the coming days, with top temperatures in Maitland expected to reach 35 degrees on Tuesday, 40 on Wednesday and 38 on Friday – with a cooler 28 expected for Thursday.
Similar temperatures are expected in Cessnock for the remainder of the week, with a 40-degree day expected on Wednesday.
According to Weather Zone a cool change in eastern NSW on the weekend will be short-lived, with warm northerly winds expected to bring more heat early next week.
It comes after the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed last week that 2016 had been Australia’s fourth warmest year on record.