TEMPERATURES in Nowra reached a high of 41.7 degrees at 3.30pm yesterday.
Higher readings were recorded in other areas with the mercury topping 43 degrees at Sanctuary Point, according to Bureau of Meteorology official weather data recorder Bob Graffham.
It was predicted we were in for a scorcher and Mother Nature didn’t disappoint; at 5.30am the mercury had already reached 28.9 and an hour later it had topped 30 degrees (30.5).
The temperature continued to rise throughout the day, hitting 40 for the first time at 12.30pm and it hovered around that mark, dropping and rising a few degrees right through to 6pm, when it was recorded at 39.4.
It did not reach the predicted 43 degree high, but was just 1.3 degrees off.
The high temperatures combined with low humidity and the blustery west-nor-westerly wind that built from the mid 30s through to 50km/h, with some gusts reaching up to 78km/h at 3.44pm made for a challenging, unpredictable day for firefighters.
Authorities were expecting a southerly change by 7pm last night.