Sydney swelters through hottest day in two years

STORY: Penrith, a suburb in western Sydney, recorded 40.1 degrees Celsius on Monday afternoon - the hottest day since Jan. 26, 2021 - while some inland towns reached nearly 41 degrees.

Total fire bans are now in place for multiple regions across most of New South Wales (NSW), while 35 public schools, mostly in inland regions, have been closed due to the severe heat.

The hot and dry conditions are likely to persist until Wednesday (March 8), according to the Bureau of Meteorology.