Players and spectators are in for a balmy grand final weekend with near-record temperatures forecast for football season deciders in Sydney and Melbourne.
The NRL final at Sydney Olympic Park could be the warmest on record when the Brisbane Broncos and Penrith Panthers kick off early on Sunday evening.
Maximum temperatures are expected to reach the mid-30s in western Sydney in the afternoon fuelled by hot, gusty north-westerly winds.
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Angus Hines said conditions would likely cool slightly before the game's 7.30pm kick-off.
But temperatures are expected to remain in the high-20s for the start of the game under mostly clear skies.
The women will be less fortunate during earlier games, including the NRLW grand final, to be played during peak heat of the day when temperatures are forecast to nudge 35C.
If the weather continues as predicted, it could make this year's NRL grand final day the hottest since observations began at Sydney Olympic Park.
A previous high was reached in 2014, when the temperature hit 34.7C on the day of the grand final clash between Canterbury-Bankstown and South Sydney.
Sunday is expected to be the first 30C-plus grand final day since 2015, which is also the last time Brisbane appeared in the decider.
NRL head of football Graham Annesley previously said the teams were ready for any circumstances, and standard operating procedures include extensive heat guidelines.
He said the kick-off could be delayed in the unlikely event conditions were worse than forecast and considered dangerous for players.
Melbourne can also expect warm and sunny conditions for the AFL grand final on Saturday.
Clear skies and a maximum temperature in the high 20s are forecast for the game's opening bounce.
The conditions would register among the top-five warmest AFL grand finals in history, although likely below the record 31.3C reached on a 2015 scorcher when Hawthorn beat West Coast for the flag.
A maximum of 26C is considerably warmer than the last time Brisbane and Collingwood met in back-to-back grand finals in 2002 and 2003, when maximum temperatures reached just 11.9C and 13.7C.
Australian Associated Press
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