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17th of January 2018

International



Sydney's heatwave: Man dies during round of golf in searing heat

The man was playing at Woolooware Golf Club in Sydney when he collapsed and died. WOOLOOWARE GOLF CLUB/FACEBOOK

The man was playing at Woolooware Golf Club in Sydney when he collapsed and died.

Paramedics have warned heatstroke "can be a killer" after a man collapsed and died on a golf course during sweltering temperatures in Sydney this afternoon.

The man was at Woolooware Golf Club at about 12.48pm (2.48pm NZ Time) on Wednesday when he collapsed in the heat and went into cardiac arrest.

At the time, a nearby weather station recorded the temperature to be 38 degrees.

Temperatures have soared around Sydney and the rest of NSW. ANNA KUCERA

Temperatures have soared around Sydney and the rest of NSW.

Golf club staff and paramedics were unable to revive the man, aged in his 60s, who was one of dozens of people needing an ambulance after they were overcome by heat.

READ MORE:* Australia: Lives at risk as Victoria braces for floods* 2017 set to break records for extreme weather * 'Half of Melbourne has never seen this'

Chief Superintendent Alan Morrison from NSW Ambulance said the man's death was "a terrible tragedy".

Bondi beach is forecast for tops of 34 degrees on Wednesday. LOUISE KENNERLEY

Bondi beach is forecast for tops of 34 degrees on Wednesday.

"People need to understand heatstroke can be a killer and not to take their health for granted," he said. "We really want the public to stay inside, drink water and avoid physical activity."

Temperatures climbed past 40 degrees in parts of the city's west, driven by north-westerly winds, with the city itself reaching a maximum of 38 degrees.

Sydney's peak temperature was in Penrith, which hit 43.6 degrees at 2.22pm (4.22pm NZT). Elsewhere in the state, Williamtown, Tocal, Scone and Cessnock in the Hunter hovered around 43 degrees, as did Walgett in the north-west.

While you search for a way to beat the heat in rising temperatures today, our #paramedics will be keeping their cool as they respond to increases in calls for assistance. Please stay safe, stay hydrated and cool as the start to summer makes its presence felt. pic.twitter.com/rzg2Q1duck

— NSW Ambulance (@NSWAmbulance) December 19, 2017

By mid-afternoon, a cool change brought welcome relief across the Sydney basin, dropping temperatures rapidly and bringing rain and thunderstorms.

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Sydney Airport saw its temperature drop by 10 degrees in two minutes, between 1.24pm and 1.26pm (3.24pm and 3.26pm NZT), as a southerly swept in. Its top temperature was 39.4 degrees at 1.24pm (3.24pm NZT).

Another rapid change was seen at Sydney Olympic Park, which dropped from 40.9 degrees to 30.6 degrees in an hour, with similar drops seen at Canterbury and Holsworthy.

The temperature dropped in 10 minutes, and then came the hail and the rain. Vision courtesy: Seven News.

The NSW Rural Fire Service had issued total fire bans for the Greater Sydney Region for Wednesday, warning of a "very high" fire danger, while the Hunter Region and North Western NSW were given "severe" fire danger ratings.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told Channel Nine there were 80 fires burning around NSW, with 30 of them uncontained.

"It's pretty hot and dry right around different parts of the state," Mr Fitzsimmons said.

A golf ball size hailstone from Rowville, Melbourne.

A golf ball size hailstone from Rowville, Melbourne.

Heat gave way to rain, lightning and hail on Wednesday afternoon.

Storms detected near Richmond, Riverstone, Colo Heights and Fairfield moved south-east, with heavy rain and winds impacting on Hornsby, Parramatta, Sutherland, Sydney's CBD, Sydney Airport, Sydney Olympic Park, the Harbour Bridge, Liverpool, Manly, Terrey Hills and Bondi.

A severe weather warning remained in place on Wednesday evening, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning of "gusty thunderstorms".

Grosvenor Street in Brighton after Tuesday's deluge. BEN BUXTON

Grosvenor Street in Brighton after Tuesday's deluge.

"Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and large hailstones over the next several hours about the Northern Tablelands, parts of the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter, Central Tablelands and Metropolitan districts," the Bureau said in an update.

"Locations which may be affected include Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, Gosford and Sydney."

Thousands of homes were without power after the storms, with Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy working to fix the blackouts across Sydney and the Hunter.

Flooding at the intersection of Elizabeth and Victoria streets in North Melbourne. MATTHEW LEUNG

Flooding at the intersection of Elizabeth and Victoria streets in North Melbourne.

About 3000 people in western Sydney were without power after a lightning strike damaged the local network at St Mary's, while parts of Bankstown, Condell Park, Balgowlah, Wahroonga, North Wahroonga, Seaforth, Coogee and Chippendale were also in the dark.

- AAP, Fairfax Media

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