Dubbo is set to swelter from day one this summer with temperatures tipped to soar as high as 38 degrees before the first week of December is out.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a maximum of 34 degrees for the first day of summer, followed by four consecutive days above 35 degrees.
Those temperatures would mark an above average start to December – the long-term average high for the month is just 31.2 degrees.
The four forecast days above 35 degrees would also put Dubbo on track for a hotter than normal month – the average number of December days at or above 35 degrees is just 6.3.
The forecast also comes with a warning to residents to slip, slop, slap, with the UV index set to climb as high as 14 (extreme) on Friday and remain at extreme levels over the weekend.
Further west temperatures are also set to soar, with Bourke bracing for five consecutive days of at least 40 degrees. The average number of December days at or above 40 degrees in Bourke is just 3.7.
Some relief could be in store for the region next week, with rain a possibility on Monday and Tuesday.
But NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has warned the third wettest winter on record had increased the risk of fast-moving and dangerous grass fires.
Heavy rainfall, including the wettest September on record, has resulted in significant vegetation growth in the state’s west.
When this growth starts to dry there is the potential for more fuel and therefore an increased risk of grass fires.
“Everybody needs to know what they will do if faced with this type of emergency,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
“With a forecast of drier and warmer conditions than normal, it does not matter whether you live close to grass paddocks or to a bushfire prone area, you need to prepare for this fire season.
“Embers can travel great distances...even up to 30 kilometres in the worst conditions.”
Visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au for information about how to plan and prepare for fire.