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Get set for heatwave that is expected to nudge records

IT'S the hottest month of the year and, sure enough, January has a heatwave in store for Victorians.

Mildura is set to have five consecutive days above 40, with 40 on Thursday followed by 44, 43, 43 and 44.

Swan Hill will also have five days over 40, provided its predicted Thursday top of 39 is exceeded by 1 degree. Horsham is in a similar position.

''It's going to be a good heatwave,'' said the Bureau of Meteorology's senior forecaster Terry Ryan.

''It'll be up there, up there with the hottest few.''

Melbourne, by contrast, gets off relatively lightly. Thursday and Friday will hit 36 and 39 but Saturday and Sunday will cool down to 29 and 31. Monday will heat up again, reaching 38.


But stretches of 40-degree days are not uncommon for January, Mr Ryan said. Mildura had five in a row in 2009 and six in a row in 1979.

In January 2009, Melbourne recorded consecutive days of 43, 44 and 45 - ''the great heatwave of 2009'', Mr Ryan said.

In January 1908, Melbourne recorded one day of 39.9 followed by five days above 40.

So enjoy the mild weather while you can. Most of the state will have highs in the mid-20s on Wednesday, with Melbourne expected to reach 24 degrees.