A climate and health expert at The Australian National University (ANU) has warned that extreme high temperatures across New South Wales, including Western Sydney, and in Canberra could set new temperature records and put people's lives at risk.
Dr Liz Hanna from ANU said the extreme heat in these regions continued the trend of record-breaking temperatures across Australia.
"Parts of New South Wales including Western Sydney look like they could set a new record for the number of consecutive days above 35 degrees Celsius," said Dr Hanna, an Honorary Senior Fellow at the ANU Climate Change Institute and President of the Climate and Health Alliance.
"The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast two days of 41 degrees Celsius in Canberra so we may break the all-time record for the city's hottest day. The current record is 42.2 degrees Celsius set in 1968.
"We need to take this extreme heat very seriously to avoid people dying. People particularly at risk are the elderly, the young and anyone who can't escape the heat."
Dr Hanna is speaking on Friday 10 February at the 2017 Conference of the Australian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society and Meteorological Society of New Zealand at the ANU Manning Clark Centre.