Victorian weather records under threat as towns brace for hot days in mid-40s
Victoria’s north is set to swelter through a potentially record-breaking heatwave this week, with temperatures of up to 46 degrees forecast on Wednesday.
- Heat records could be broken in the state’s north
- Melbourne is forecast to hit 35 degrees today and tomorrow
- The Australian Open has adopted a new heat stress policy to protect players
Towns along the Murray River are bracing for a run of days above 40 degrees, with 46 forecast for towns between Mildura and Albury Wodonga on Wednesday.
Melbourne will be spared the worst of the hot blast with sea breezes keeping temperatures in the 30s city-wide.
But tennis stars at the Australian Open will still sizzle on court as the city reaches for 35 today and tomorrow.
It is forecast to be Melbourne’s second hottest day of the year so far, after the mercury soared to 43 degrees earlier this month.
Suburban areas further from the coast like Watsonia, in Melbourne’s north-east, are likely to hit 37 degrees today.
Sea breezes offer cool reprieve to Melbourne
Forecaster Richard Carlyon said Melbourne would be “saved by the sea breeze” this afternoon.
“We could have easily reached temperatures around 40 degrees,” he said.
“By mid-afternoon near the bay we’ll have a 15 to 20 knot sea breeze and that’ll just hold the temperature around the mid-30s.”
But he said it was a very different story in the north of the state, with Mildura forecast to hit 46 degrees tomorrow and on Wednesday.
“There could be some records broken for January temperatures.”
French tennis player Gael Monfils raised concerns about the Australian Open’s heat policy in 2018. (AP: Andy Brownbill)
Temperatures to test Australian Open heat policy
Melbourne’s two days of 35 degree maximums coincide with the first two days of the Australian Open, which has introduced a new heat stress scale this year for players.
The five-step scale allows organisers to take different levels of action in response to rising heat on the tennis court.
Under the new system, 10-minute breaks will be allowed in men’s singles matches for the first time in a grand slam tennis tournament.
The scale is based on data on the maximum heat stress an athlete can safely withstand, the sweat rate of players and their core temperatures.