Victorians are set to swelter through a scorcher of a week, with the mercury forecast to rise to 46 degrees in some parts of the state and overnight temperatures in the city to be as warm as 23 degrees.
But light winds and sea breezes will likely spare Melburnians from the most extreme heat.
Wednesday is forecast to be the hottest day for much of Victoria, with people along the Murray River to face the most intense weather: Mildura, Echuca, Swan Hill and Wodonga are all expected to reach 46 degrees.
Monday and Tuesday – the first two days of the Australian Open – will be the hottest days in Melbourne, with both tipped to hit 35 degrees.
“In some respects we’re saved by the sea breeze, with much higher temperatures further inland,” said Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Richard Carlyon.
“It will be warm, but Melbourne is missing the extreme heat due to the lack of northerly winds.”
Even areas just beyond the reach of the sea breezes will be significantly hotter, with 38 degrees forecast for Watsonia on Monday and 39 for Yarra Glen.
Emergency services are also bracing for the risk of fire across the state.
While there is no total fire ban in place on Monday, authorities have deemed the Mallee, Wimmera, South West, Northern Country, North Central and Central Victoria at ‘very high’ risk of fire.
The risk of fire will increase to ‘severe’ for the Mallee, Northern Country and North Central and for much of the rest of the week as temperatures continue to soar.
Temperatures will go above 40 degrees across northern parts of Victoria on Monday, the hottest being Mildura with a predicted 43 degrees.
Cloud cover will take the edge off the heat after Wednesday but temperatures in the low 40s will likely be the norm across the state’s north on Thursday, and high 30s are predicted for Friday.
Temperatures in Melbourne’s city will also cool off slightly, with a expected top of 31-32 degrees between Wednesday and Friday, as well as a chance of rain.
Mr Carlyon said the true cool change wouldn’t come until late Friday or on Saturday.
“Which will herald a cooler weekend, with 23 degrees on Saturday and 22 on Sunday in Melbourne,” he said.
Victorians will get little relief until the weekend, with a series of warm nights throughout the week.
Melbourne’s minimum temperature is forecast to be 18 degrees on Monday, 19 on Tuesday, 21 on Wednesday, 20 on Thursday and 23 on Friday.
“We will have to get used to warm nights,” Mr Carlyon said.