Rough surf inundated the city's ocean baths on Thursday, as a powerful south-south-east swell broke over the NSW coast.
Early northwest winds opened up clean conditions earlier in the day, but a shift to moderate northeast winds favoured southern-facing beaches with swells around three metres in the afternoon.
Conditions were expected to peak during the late afternoon before easing into the evening and Friday morning.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned the conditions could turn potentially hazardous for rock fishers, boaters and swimmers, as NSW Police Force's Marine Area Command advised people to consider staying out of the water and avoiding surf-exposed areas on foot.
Bouys off Crowdy Head to the north of the Hunter and Sydney to the south were recording swells between three and 3.5 metres, generated by a deep low trough that had moved fro the South Tasman Sea earlier in the week to the east of New Zealand by Thursday afternoon, forecasters said.
The Hunter could expect unsettled weather, with possible isolated showers and the chance of a storm in parts of the region, before a sweltering weekend as the mercury crept above 30 degrees.
Maximums of 31 degrees in Newcastle on Friday, rising to between 33 and 34 degrees over the weekend.
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