Spring is well and truly here and don't the city's allergy sufferers know it.
Pollen counts are already high in Sydney and will remain so for most of the next week as unseasonably warm and dry conditions combine with westerly winds – a potent mix perfect for triggering allergic reactions, said Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino.
The problem is not just pollen itself, but dust, air pollution, mould, even pets, with the city basically rainless for the past four weeks.
“As the air becomes very dry, that sort of stuff gets quite actively spread through the air, especially when you have strong westerly winds,” Mr Domensino said. “Do some spring cleaning early.”
To limit the impact during periods of high pollen readings, Weatherzone's advice includes washing pets weekly, avoiding feather and down pillows, not hanging bedsheets and clothing outside to dry, and wearing a mask when mowing the lawn.
Sydney temperatures are likely to reach 26 degrees in the city on Thursday and several degrees warmer in the suburbs.
By Monday and Tuesday, places such as Penrith will be looking at 30 degrees, which would be the earliest in the season if reached.
Observatory Hill, near Circular Quay, is likely to record its 13th consecutive day of 21 degrees or above on Thursday, and will likely extend the series to 18 days by Tuesday.
“We've never seen a run this long and this warm,” Mr Domensino said. “The earliest we've had a run like this was in October 1989.”
Sydney is hardly alone in suffering high pollen counts or unusual warmth. Brisbane's pollen readings will be “very high” for the next few days, Weatherzone said.
Melbourne, meanwhile, had its warmest September night in 12 years, with the temperature dropping to only 19.7 degrees early on Thursday. That reading, though, was also the warmest this early in the season on record by 19 days, according to Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology.
If forecasts are accurate, Melbourne will notch up its seventh day of 20 degrees or above on Friday, the earliest that such a series has been recorded in more than 150 years of records. The current record was set in the week leading up to September 23, 1907, said Rob Sharpe, another Weatherzone meteorologist.
Australia's run of record temperatures shows little sign of ending, with cold fronts continuing to be weak and preventing the break-up of heat over much of the continent. Sea-surface temperatures also remain well above normal, climatologists say.
The year-to-date and 12-month temperatures are at record highs, while Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra all had their mildest winters.
Among the latest records to tumble are early-season maximums for Western Australia at Fitzroy Crossing, where the mercury climbed to 41.1 degrees on Monday. Tarcoola's 37.7 degrees and Mildura's 32.4 degrees on Wednesday set similar records for South Australia and Victoria, respectively, for early-season warmth.
For Sydney, the outlook is for maximum temperatures to ease to 20 degrees by next Wednesday – matching the long-run average for September – before conditions warm up again, Mr Domensino said.