IT'S A RECORD: Grafton's hottest day ever
GRAFTON has sweltered its way to the hottest temperature ever recorded in the city.
The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed that the mercury had reached a sizzling 45.8°celsius at the Grafton Agriculture Research station at 2pm on Sunday.
The mark eclipses the previous record of 44.6° set in January 2004.
And that may not even be the worst of it, as there is anecdotal evidence that some thermometers across the Clarence Valley reached higher temps, with some reportedly going off the scale. Saturday's recorded high of 43° had been a record for the month of February.
But yesterday's scorcher eclipses recorded marks at the Grafton Olympic Pool with data stretching back to 1966. In preparation the fire alert level was raised to severe, alongside a total fireban and many sports enacted their extreme heat policy over the weekend.
The hot temperatures forced the postponement of racing at the Clarence River Jockey Club yesterday, with the racing program to be completed today.
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'landys said organisers had consulted with the Bureau of Meteorology prior to making the decision.
"They were extremely helpful with providing the most up-to-date and accurate predictions as to the likely conditions over the weekend," Mr V'landys said.
"Racing NSW and the ATC believed that animal welfare and the welfare of the participants should be the only consideration when making this decision."
Northern NSW Football also did not sanction any fixtures to be played between 10am-7pm at the weekend.
The Far North Coast's fire danger alert level for the Clarence Valley increased from very high to severe.
There were two fires in the Clarence Valley listed on the NSW Rural Fire Service Fires Near Me page.
The first is the long-burning Fannings Trail fire and there is a bush fire on Wooli Rd near Pillar Valley. Both were listed as under control.
Many Clarence Valley residents headed to the coast to seek some solace from the heat while the pools and shopping centres were also popular.
The temperature at Yamba reached 31°, well short of its historical February high of 41.5° set in 2004.
Yamba Surf Club captain James Ryan said Main Beach was closed most of the weekend due to rough surf conditions.
"The swell has been just too big so we closed the beach for a day and a half but we opened it back up on Sunday afternoon.
Most people have been playing it safe and frequenting the ocean pool anyhow," he said. People have been heeding advice and staying rehydrated and cool as there were no reports specific to heatstroke at Grafton Base as of Sunday afternoon.
Essential Energy postponed all its planned power outages scheduled for Friday and across the weekend (bar emergency repair work).