A return to summer weather is on its way for Melbourne after the coldest start to February in eight years.
Hot northerly winds ahead of an approaching low pressure trough will allow the temperature to warm into the mid-to-high thirties for parts of Victoria on Wednesday, including Melbourne.
The city will reach the mid-thirties, while towns in the Mallee may see temperatures close to 40. Due to this heat and freshening dry winds, a total fire ban has been issued for the South West, North Central, Wimmera and Central districts on Wednesday.
This heat comes as a dramatic turn around considering the cold start to February for the state's capital.
Melbourne's average temperature over the first five days of the month was 23.7 degrees (days and nights combined), making it the coldest start to February since 2005.
Last night, clear skies, light winds and a lingering cool air mass saw this trend continue, with the mercury dropping below average across most of the state. Bundoora dipped to nine degrees, five below average, while at Kilmore, it was cool enough for fog causing visibility down to 100 metres at 8am.
After a return of summer heat tomorrow, a weak cool change will arrive in Melbourne just after dinner time. This will only see a gradual drop in temperature though, with the city likely to reach above 30 each day until Friday.
© Weatherzone 2013
17:37 EDT Much of western New South Wales has begun a heat wave, reaching at least five degrees above average for at least five days, averaging a maximum of 35 degrees or more.