Records are tumbling across northern New South Wales as an unseasonal spell of heat brings an early taste of summer, according to

Evans Head hit 36.8 degrees at 1pm, the highest temperature on record for August anywhere in New South Wales. This beat the previous record of 36.1C at Yamba. Lismore has also broken the previous record, hitting 36.2 degrees at 1pm.

Temperatures have soared up to 15 degrees above average across northern New South Wales today as gusty westerly winds drag heat down from the interior of the continent.

“Weeks of clear skies have seen heat building across central Australia. A strong cold front crossing southern Australia has resulted in gusty westerly winds, which have dragged all this hot air down towards the east coast,” meteorologist Matt Pearce said.

“Winds will turn cooler southwesterly tomorrow in the wake of the front, so temperatures will fall back towards the average.”

In complete contrast to the heatwave conditions in northern New South Wales, the Snowy Mountains are expecting a late-season dumping of snow over the next 24 hours.

“20 to 30 centimetres of fresh snow may fall over the next couple of days across the resorts as cold, unstable westerly winds take hold. This will breathe some life into what has been a fairly lean period for skiers,” Mr Pearce said.

“There are early signs of another cold front bringing a welcome, widespread burst of rain to New South Wales during Friday and Saturday.”