Temperatures are still sky-high at Albion Park, where the mercury is sitting at an oppressive 43 degrees.
Temperatures in the southern Illawarra suburb have been above 40 degrees since 11am.
At 4pm the temperature at Bellambi was 27 degrees according to the Bureau of Meteorology weather station, a drop of 15 degrees from the noon high of 42.
1.50pm UPDATE: The Bureau of Meteorology recorded a new high of 45.8 at Albion Park at 1.16pm. Kiama is now experiencing 44.3 degree heat.
1.30pm UPDATE: Record-breaking heat has been recorded at Albion Park, where the mercury hit 45.4 degrees at 12.44pm today.
The Bureau of Meteorology weather station at Albion park last registered a record high of 45 degrees on New Year’s Day 2006.
The Rural Fire Service has upgraded the fire risk for the region from severe to extreme.
Wollongong lifeguards have extended their hours until 7pm today on all beaches, due to the hot weather.
12.50 UPDATE: Temperatures in the Illawarra have surged well beyond today’s forecast, catching vulnerable groups unaware and driving big crowds to the beaches.
The mercury has passed 44 degrees in Albion Park and more than 42 degrees at the Bellambi Point weather station, where the forecast was for 37 degrees.
The extreme conditions are causing a spike in triple zero calls for heat exhaustion and heat-related illness.
Ambulance paramedics are currently treating a 26-year-old man near the level crossing at Cordeaux Heights.
The man was working on machinery when he succumbed to the effects of heat exhaustion.