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Seven days out it’s looking mighty fine

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It’s time to pull the snorkel, swimming gear and sunscreen out of the cupboard for Christmas Day, with the city likely to sweat through a scorcher. A top of 26 degrees is forecast for the Sydney CBD on Sunday, while suburbs to the west are likely to reach 31 degrees.

But how does Christmas Day this year stack up against the past 100? Data from Weatherzone shows we’ve been fairly lucky when it comes to warm weather for the past century, with temperatures sitting in the 20s for most years.

One of the hottest Christmas Days was in 1957, when temperatures peaked at 38.4 at Sydney Observatory Hill. The coldest day was in 1962, when Sydney shivered through 17.6 degrees.

The Bureau of Meteorology notes that Australia’s climate has warmed by an average of 1.47 degrees since national records began in 1910. There’s also been a decline in rainfall in the south-east of the country of about 10 per cent between April and October since the late 1990s.

Christmas Day this year is expected to begin with lows of about 19 degrees in the city and reach tops of 26 during the day. For the eastern suburbs, temperatures will be similar, peaking at 24.

But in the western suburbs, temperatures will reach 31 degrees, including in Penrith, Richmond and Campbelltown. Parramatta will hit 28 degrees.

The weather will be warm in the north of the state, with Byron Bay set to experience 26 degrees and Lismore reaching 30. For those heading to the beaches along the South Coast, temperatures will reach 27 at Batemans Bay, while Ulladulla will hit 26 degrees.

Jane Saunders, who co-runs a business photographing Santa with families in Byron, said most of their shoots happen in the morning because winds and sandstorms haunt them in the afternoon. “This is our third La Nina in a row and it’s definitely had the upper hand this year,” she said.

Weatherzone meteorologist Drew Casper-Richardson warned that Christmas Day predictions seven days out are subject to change, but this Christmas was looking bright.

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