Cessnock has sweltered through its two hottest days on record this weekend.
Saturday’s maximum temperature of 46.8 degrees, recorded at the Cessnock Airport weather station, was the highest since records began in 1968.
The previous high – exactly 45 degrees, set on January 18, 2013 – was also eclipsed on Sunday, with a top of 45.6 degrees recorded at 2.20pm.
The mercury lingered in the forties until around 3.30pm, when a southerly change brought a drop of more than 10 degrees.
Smoke from the Sir Ivan fire near Dunedoo has drifted over the Hunter, but as of 4.20pm Sunday no fires were reported to be burning in the Cessnock local government area.
More than 70 fires are burning across the state, with five at the emergency warning level.
The fire danger rating remains at the ‘catastrophic’ level in the Greater Hunter, with severe winds of up to 35km/h expected to continue this evening.
A top of 31 degrees and a possible shower is predicted for Cessnock on Monday.