Hunter weather: cooler conditions expected after summer scorcher | poll

IT IS the kind of weather that hits you for six.

The Hunter sweltered through its hottest day of the year on Wednesday, with Cessnock, Maitland and Williamtown all enduring temperatures above 40 degrees.

In Williamtown, the mercury soared to 41.5 degrees by 3pm – its hottest temperature in four years.

There were similar temperatures in Cessnock, which hit 40.2 degrees at 2pm, while Maitland reached a top of 40.4 degrees by 3.30pm.

In Cooranbong, which suffered through a power cut in the late afternoon, the temperature was 41 degrees at 2pm.

It was cooler on the coast, but only marginally, with the Bureau of Meteorology’s weather station at Nobbys recording 37.1 degrees at 5pm.

Youngsters Tommy Tolhurst and Jesse Pesle, of New Lambton, couldn’t resist a game of beach cricket at Bar Beach, which attracted crowds from early morning.

The mercury was on its way down by late afternoon, with the cool change finally reaching the Hunter by night. The temperature was forecast to remain bearable on Thursday, according to Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Dutschke, with a maximum of 26 degrees forecast for Newcastle.

The hot days are expected to resume on Friday, with the city expected to heat up to the high-30s. “[But] this will be the peak,” Mr Dutschke said of Wednesday’s hot weather.

“It will get hot again on Friday, and continue on Saturday in the mid-30s – that should ease by Sunday with a possible thunderstorm.”

The Upper Hunter will be the coolest place in the region on Thursday, Mr Dutschke added, with possible showers forecast. The total fire ban in place across the Hunter has been lifted, but the fire danger rating remains “high”.

IN FOR A SWIM: Crowds at Bar Beach. Picture: Marina Neil

IN FOR A SWIM: Crowds at Bar Beach. Picture: Marina Neil

Firefighters were on high alert on Wednesday as a fire broke out at Loxford, near Kurri Kurri, with at least one Rural Fire Service volunteer treated for heat exhaustion as she battled the blaze in hot conditions.

About 1800 homes in Cooranbong and Martinsville, in southern Lake Macquarie, saw their air-conditioners whisper to a halt after a power outage struck about 6.30pm. The problem was fixed an hour later, with power restored to most homes by 7.30pm.

A cause for the power outage was not identified, but hot and cold weather is known to affect power supplies, with Ausgrid saying demand across its electricity network was “noticeably higher” on Wednesday.

HOT HUNTER

  • Williamtown: 41.5 degrees
  • Cooranbong: 41 degrees
  • Maitland: 40.4 degrees
  • Cessnock: 40.2 degrees
  • Newcastle: 37.1 degrees