«The east coast of Australia has been warmer than normal for several months, but it’s warmed up in the past week or so off the NSW coast because of a lot of sunshine,» Mr Dutschke said.
«We haven’t had a string of overcast days, so that sunshine has kept the surface of the water nice and warm.»
Sydney has only had one day this month below the long-term May average maximum of 19.5, while the rest of the month has hovered close to 3 degrees above.
Maximum temperatures as high as 26 degrees — up to 6 degrees above average — are forecast for the week ahead.
Mr Dutschke said this meant water temperatures off the NSW coast would remain a couple of degrees warmer for at least another week, and could potentially inch slightly higher.
«It might even last well into June,» he said. «There are signs of a cold front coming that [could] cool things down a bit, but it will probably stay warmer than average for much of winter, depending on how many low-pressure systems we get off the coast.
«That’s largely based on how long it has been warmer than average over past months — we’ve only had brief cold spells.»
May’s warm weather has put Sydney on track for its fifth month of above-average maximum temperatures this year.