Typhoon helps Victoria shelter from the heat
Moisture associated with ex-tropical cyclone Christine is expected to keep temperatures low in Victoria as the rest of the country sizzles.PT4M45S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-306l6 620 349 January 2, 2014
Australia's record-setting run of hot weather is likely to continue into the new year with temperatures in some parts tipped to peak just shy of 50 degrees in the coming days.
Melbourne, though, will miss out on most of the burst of summer heat, with maximum temperatures ranging between about 20 to 24 over the next week, including a high of 24 degrees on Sunday. These temperatures are well below the January average maximum of 25. From Friday to Tuesday, there will also be a shower or two each day.
Even Mildura –Victoria's warmest town – will not break 30 degrees until Wednesday, when it will reach 32.
But elsewhere in Australia, the new year is starting off much as 2013 did, with an extended heatwave across large areas of inland Australia.
Last year was Australia's hottest in more than a century of records, as the Bureau of Meteorology will confirm this week.
Brett Dutschke, senior meteorologist with Weatherzone, said Thursday had the best chance during the current hot spell for a 50-degree reading to be reached, with Moomba in South Australia expecting more than 49 degrees.
"The hot-air mass that's over central parts of the country is expected to challenge quite a few records, although it's not affecting most of the capital cities," Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino said.
Maree in South Australia also looks likely to experience a scorching 49 degrees and Queensland's south-west town of Birdsville is set to reach 48 degrees.
Temperatures in Alice Springs may again come close to the town's hottest maximum of 45.2, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting it will reach 43 degrees.
Mr Domensino warned that certain parts of Queensland could experience the longest stretch of scorching days on record. The town of Longreach is expected to have nine consecutive days of 44- to 46-degree heat.
"For some places, particularly western Queensland, it'll be the most intense heatwave for some parts of the state in more than 50 years," Mr Domensino said.
South Australia's Roxby Downs is forecast to hit 45 degrees, while the more northern town of Oodnadatta could reach a high of 48 degrees.
Leigh Creek, about 550 kilometres north of Adelaide, could hit 46 degrees, potentially creeping past its 25-year standing record of 46.3.
In NSW, the heat will reach Bourke in north-west NSW, with temperatures expected to hit 46 to 47 degrees over the next two days.
Sydney's temperature will probably remain in the high 20s into the early afternoon before reaching about 33 to 35 degrees after 3pm, said "In the afternoon, the wind will shift from north or north-easterly to more of a westerly that will bring in most of the heat," Dr Dutschke said.
The Bureau of Meteorology has also issued high and very high fire danger ratings across NSW, and not much rain is expected throughout the day.
As of Wednesday evening, the Rural Fire Service said that there were no total fire bans in place in the state for the coming days.
Conditions will ease in time for the start of the fifth and final Ashes Test, which begins at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
Maximum temperatures for Sydney are forecast to range from 26 to 27 degrees from Friday to Sunday, with only the chance of a shower.
Monday may have a maximum of 25 while spectators on Tuesday - should the Test last that long - may need to bring a flask with a top of just 22 expected.