Melbourne sets its gaze on record heatRob Sharpe, Tuesday March 5, 2013 - 15:23 EDT
In the past 150 years Melbourne has not more than eight days in a row of 30 degrees or hotter, but it's likely to have nine in autumn.
Victoria's capital city has already begun its hot spell with Monday and Tuesday both reaching the low 30's. The forecast is to reach the low thirties each day until Sunday before potentially hitting the mid 30's on Monday next week. The final day of the heat is likely to be Tuesday 12th March before a cool change is due overnight.
This extended spell of heating is longer than any spell in Melbourne's records, likely going past Melbourne's most recent eight day run in February 1961. The strangest part of this situation is that it is occurring in March, the first month of autumn. The longest March run above 30 degrees was seven days in 1985.
Beach goers will love this weather as warm weather and mostly sunny skies will invite people into the water. This will be a great week for picnics and outdoor activities before more typical autumn weather arrives.
A semi-stationary high pressure system to the southeast of Australia is gradually drawing in heat from the interior. This high is also blocking any cold air from reaching Victoria as the next front strong enough to cool the city won't arrive for another week.
The humidity will be elevated for most of the week making it feel warmer than the mercury suggests. As the week goes on, it will become increasingly difficult to escape the heat, with buildings and roads retaining warmth from the previous day into the evening hours.
© Weatherzone 2013
More breaking news
Temperatures will remain above 40 degrees Celsius in parts of central and southern Queensland until at least Wednesday next week, the Bureau of Meterology (BOM) warns.
Hot weather can take a serious toll on our health.
The sort of temperatures that see roads melt and cold taps flowing with boiling water are set to scorch Sydney and northern New South Wales over the next few days with the weather bureau officially forecasting a rare "extreme heatwave".