Illawarra weather: 'Fairly impressive' burst of unseasonable warmth on the way

Beach-goers enjoyed the winter sun at North Beach, Wollongong in August last year. Picture: Anna Warr.
Beach-goers enjoyed the winter sun at North Beach, Wollongong in August last year. Picture: Anna Warr.

Another burst of unseasonable warmth is building over the state and will nudge temperatures towards 10 degrees above normal by the middle of next week.

Wollongong, Bulli and Albion Park are tipped to reach 26 degrees next Wednesday, with Sydney and Newcastle expected to reach 28 degrees, the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts.

Before then, a batch of mostly sunny days will see the maximum reach 20-23 degrees most days, including Thursday which is expected to reach 22 degrees in Wollongong. While nights will be cool, most should stay comfortably above the 9 degree average minimum in July.

Sydney’s average for August high is just under 18 degrees. The only other comparable warmer day this early in the month was 28.2 degrees, recorded in Sydney on 12 August, 1946.

Read more: Heaviest rain in two months soaks Wollongong after record dry July

"A dominant high pressure system is sitting near Brisbane, and we're going to see a series of fronts, one after the other, each dropping south" of Sydney, Rob Sharpe, a meteorologist at Weatherzone said.

Southern Queensland and northern NSW will see the mercury nudge towards the mid-30s, bringing the potential for August heat records to come into play, Weatherzone said. "And that's only the middle of August, which is fairly impressive", Mr Sharpe said.

Wednesday is likely to be the warmest day but the unusual heat for winter may linger for a couple more days before dropping back to more typical August weather by the weekend of the 19th and 20th, he said.

For those planning to toil in this Sunday's City2Surf run, sunscreen may come in handy. Sunny conditions are forecast, with temperatures likely to rise from a cool 10-degree overnight minimum to a top of 21 degrees.

Those wanting a dip in the sea to ease the pain can look forward to water temperatures of about 19-20 degrees.

Dry times roll on

Along with the mostly westerly winds, most of coastal NSW can expect the extended dry spell to last for at least another week.

Sydney had its driest July since 1995, with only 12.6 millimetres of rain - well short of the typically tally of almost 100 millimetres. 

(See bureau chart below showing predicted rainfall for the next eight days.)

Alpine regions can expect more snow from the coming fronts next week but temperatures will also lead to some snow melt.

"The best conditions for skiing are behind us," Mr Sharpe said, referring to last weekend's "amazing" falls that brought more than a metre of snow to some resorts.

Still, there should be some "useful" falls to look forward to next week, he said.

Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.