Hunter faces above-average temperatures for spring and summer

SEPTEMBER was hot.

In fact, the month's hottest day last Thursday broke records across the region.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology's Williamtown base, the mercury rose to 36.4 degrees and became a record September temperature; at Nobbys it was 33.9, a touch cooler than 48 years ago when it hit 34.4; at Lake Macquarie it topped 34.2, the highest temperature since the weather station opened in 2008.

But it was not just a one-off heat spike that classified the month as hot, as warmer temperatures became the norm.

The monthly average temperature for September also broke records at Williamtown, Nobbys and Lake Macquarie.

It was a similar pattern across the state, with the NSW September temperature four degrees above the average.

The heat was caused by predominantly westerly winds, dominant high pressure systems and an absence of cold fronts.

This weather system also brought little rainfall.

It was hot and dry for the first month of spring.

The outlook for the next three months looks very similar.

Bureau of Meteorology NSW climate service manger Aaron Coutts-Smith predicts the October to December period will be a continuation of warmer than usual conditions.

As for the rain, he said it was "even odds".

The average temperature for these months are 25.4 degrees in Williamtown, 23.5 at Nobbys and 25.2 in Lake Macquarie.

Yesterday, October 1, the predicted top temperatures were Williamtown 33, Nobbys 29, Lake Macquarie 32 - well-above the averages early in the month.

Dry and hot summers are synonymous with screaming sirens attending to bushfires.

Last Thursday flames ripped through 40 hectares of Glenrock State Conservation Area, menacing nearby homes and Scouts camping in the area.

The Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre has warned that spring and summer face above-normal fire potential for NSW coastal areas, from south of Seal Rocks to the Victorian border.

This warning is due to above-average temperatures and a build-up of fuel that is drying off.