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Heatwave Threatens Record NRL Grand Final Day Temperatures

Sep 28, 2023

Another heatwave is on its way with temperatures in Richmond expected to peak at 38 degrees on Tuesday. Should temperatures hit the predicted high of 35 degrees on Sunday it will be the hottest NRL Grand Final Day since observations began at Sydney Olympic Park.

Driven by a huge mass of hot air from Western Australia the six day heat event will be the second so far this spring.

Record breaking temperatures have already been felt in Western Australia where Geraldton surpassed its September record by three degrees hitting 39 degrees on Tuesday. Elsewhere Perth topped 34.3 degrees.

On Sunday, the NRL decider – between Penrith and the Brisbane Bronco’s – at Sydney Olympic Park is also expected to be played in very warm conditions, but conditions will cool slightly for the game, given the night-time kick-off.

If the current forecast maximum temperature of 35C on Sunday is reached, it would surpass the 34.7C reached on the day of the 2014 grand final between Canterbury-Bankstown and South Sydney.

This would be the first NRL Grand Final day since 2015 to surpass 30C, which was the last time Brisbane appeared in a grand final.

Penrith last appeared in a grand final on a day reaching just 19C in 2022.

“Maximum temperatures are expected to reach the mid-30s in western Sydney on Sunday afternoon, as hot, gusty north-westerly winds flow into the Sydney basin,” senior meteorologist Angus Hines said.

“By kick-off at 7.30pm AEST, temperatures are still expected to remain in the high 20s and decrease steadily throughout the game, though overhead conditions will remain mostly clear, with just a few patches of cloud.

“Earlier games, including the NRLW Grand Final, will be played during the peak heat of the day, with temperatures expected to nudge 35C.

“Those hot north-westerly airstreams are forecast to make way for a brief, cool southerly change early on Monday in time for the NSW public holiday, before a more significant cooler change is due to arrive mid next week.

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