Heat and storms in VictoriaBen Domensino, Wednesday February 13, 2013 - 13:41 EDT
Melbourne is in for a hot week as showers and thunderstorms bring respite to a dry state.
A hot air mass will linger over the state from now until at least next Tuesday, potentially producing the hottest week in 28 years for Melbourne.
The city is forecast to reach or exceed 30 degrees each day from now until Tuesday, the first seven day string that hot since 1985. The record run of eight days has only occurred three times in the city's 157 year history, most recently in 1961.
A low pressure trough residing over the state's north will combine with this heat to cause showers and thunderstorms from today until at least Sunday.
Most places in Victoria will receive some rainfall during the next 4-5 days. The heaviest will be in Alpine areas of the North East, where more than 20mm is likely during the next week.
So far the Alps have endured an unusually dry start to the year. Mount Buller, Mount Hotham and Wangaratta have all recorded less than 1mm of rainfall this month, while January was the driest in 24 years for Wangaratta and 15 years for Falls Creek.
Melbourne only managed 8mm in the gauge last month, making it the driest January since 2009. However, the city is tracking closer to the February average of 48mm, with 33mm already recorded and another 5-10mm likely by Sunday.
Showers will clear most of the state on Monday as dry northerly winds develop ahead of a trough. These winds will also introduce the hottest air of the week for most places, with Melbourne expected to reach the mid 30s.
© Weatherzone 2013
More breaking news
Melbourne has had its coldest day since last September, with heavy rain and flurries in Alpine areas.
For those among us wanting to balance out our participation in Earth Hour, the Vivid Light, Music and Ideas Festival opens in Sydney this on Friday.
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has released modelling showing the latest El Nino cycle is over, but could now lead to a wet winter after a devastating 14 months of drought and famine across the Pacific.