Scorching summer continues as temperature records tumble

The sun behind a blanket of smoke on Saturday, December 21, the hottest day of 2019. Photo: Penny Le Poidevin
The sun behind a blanket of smoke on Saturday, December 21, the hottest day of 2019. Photo: Penny Le Poidevin

Young has sweltered through a blistering hot end to 2019 and even hotter start the new year.

Temperatures throughout December were well above the month's long term average, with seven days reaching a top of more than 40 degrees Celsius.

The mercury topped a balmy 44.1 degrees on Saturday, December 21, eclipsing the Bureau of Meteorology's [BOM] previous maximum record of 43.5 degrees.

It didn't last long however, with the top temperature reaching 44.9 degrees on Saturday, January 5.

Temperatures well above the January average of 32 degrees are expected to continue.

Health authorities are warning residents to take action against heat-induced illnesses as heatwave conditions are forecast for Friday.

The maximum temperature is expected to hit 42 degrees before relief on the weekend with tops in the low 30s. There's a chance of a thunderstorm on Friday and small amount of rain on Saturday.

It's not just humans feeling the heat this summer. Photo: Mark Logan

It's not just humans feeling the heat this summer. Photo: Mark Logan

Just 8.8 millimetres of rain fell during December.

Young's had two millimetres so far this January, according to BOM.

NSW Health's environmental health director Richard Broome said people need to take extra precautions as temperatures are expected to climb in the upcoming days.

Dr Broome said people over the age of 75, with chronic conditions or living alone will be most vulnerable during extreme heat conditions.

"Staying indoors during the heat of the day to keep cool, minimising physical activity and staying well hydrated are important ways to reduce the risk of heat-related illness," Dr Richard Broome said.

"Heat puts a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat stress and heat stroke. It can also make underlying conditions worse."

Signs of heat related illness include dizziness, tiredness, irritability, thirst, fainting, muscle pains or cramps, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, vomiting and confusion.

Dr Broome said residents need to keep hydrated with water, check on neighbours and plan ahead for the hot days.

It's not just humans feeling the heat. RSPCA urges owners of animals to provide constant access to both water and shade, as heat stress can develop extremely quickly in hot weather.