Sydney is baking
18 of January 2013 will be written as the hottest day in the history of Australia. A temperature of 45.8C was recorded at Observatory Hill in the city at 14:55 local time (01:55 GMT). The previous recorded high in Sydney was in January 1939, when the thermometer reached 45.3C at Observatory Hill.
Unusual heat threatens the health of people, as the emergency services have received dozens of calls from people seeking help for heat-related health issues, including dizziness, fainting and vomiting.
The heat has caused dozens of fires that rage in the country. One man was reported to be killed by a bushfire and fire-fighters battle with dozens of fires spread across New South Wales and Victoria. Each January and February Australia faces wildfires as temperatures climb. In February 2009, 173 people were killed in fires in the state of Victoria.
However, Australian meteorologists forecast a dramatic change in weather overnight in Sydney, with thunder storms expected to bring a rapid fall in temperatures.