IMAGE: Predicted heat at 4:00pm Wednesday (BSCH)
Relief is on the way from this extreme heat in the Hunter, however it won't last long.
The mercury is climbing fast locally, reaching 30 degrees at 9:00am in most areas.
It's forecast to reach 42 degrees in some suburbs, leading to a severe fire danger rating and a total fire ban for the Hunter.
NBN weatherman Gavin Morris says a cool southerly change will arrive at around 8:00pm or 9:00pm tonight.
Thursday will be much cooler across the region, with temperatures to remain in the 20's.
However more hot weather is forecast for Friday, possibly worse than Wednesday, as the mercury returns to the low 40's.