High temperatures and giant hailstones have pummelled parts of eastern Australia.
Extremely hot air from central parts of the country extended into New South Wales today, sending the temperatures soaring.
The northwest of the state saw the most extreme heat, with Bourke Airport reporting 47.3C, the highest temperature recorded since the site opened in 1998.
As the temperature soared, a stream of air travelling down the east coast of Australia provided the moisture needed to set off some very intense thunderstorms.
50,000 lightning strikes were recorded in just 3 hours within a 50 kilometre radius of Sydney, according to weatherzone.com.au.
As well as an impressive lightning display, the storms also brought huge hailstones, some of which were larger than a tennis ball.
The heat is expected to ease in Sydney on Friday, but showers are likely to plague the city over the next few days and the heat isn’t expected to venture too far.
Over the next few days, the neighbouring state of Queensland is currently preparing for the temperatures to soar, with the southwest of the state bracing for temperatures of nearly 50C.
Night time temperatures are also expected to be high, which can be dangerous as this means people’s bodies are unable to cool off and recover from the daytime heat.
The Bureau of Meteorology is recommending residents stay out of the sun and stay hydrated, with Dr Smart from the South West Hospital and Health Service urging people to keep an eye on the elderly and young children.
However, farmer Chook Kath took a slightly more upbeat take on the heat, “There’s the chance it could build up to some rain, so obviously that’s of greater interest and concern for us than the heat itself,” he said.
“You can put up with a lot of heat if you know you’re going to get some rain out of it.”
Al Jazeera and news agencies