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Gale-force winds a 'worst-case scenario'

The weather is likely to clear for the Melbourne Cup, but meteorologists say there's still a chance of some wild weather.

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Hot northerly winds created sticky conditions in Melbourne overnight, with the mercury not dipping below a balmy 23 degrees in the city.

That is 12 degrees above the long-term average minimum temperature for the month, and the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast more warm conditions for tonight as a hot-air mass from central Victoria is blown across the state.

Senior forecaster Dean Stewart said a low of 23.3 degrees was recorded in the city at 10.10pm, before the mercury began climbing again towards today's forecast top of 27.

Rain and thunderstorms are on the cards for Melbourne Cup crowds tomorrow.

Rain and thunderstorms may be on the cards for Melbourne Cup crowds tomorrow. Photo: Angela Wylie

Mr Stewart said warm conditions were experienced right across the state overnight, including Mildura which hit a low of 23.5 degrees at 11.30pm. By 5am it had already hit 31 degrees in the regional city.

Mr Stewart said a high pressure system over the Tasman Sea was drawing hot northerly winds from inland Australia over Victoria.

"Last night the winds were a bit stronger than the previous night," he said.

"When the wind drops off, it cools down more but when you've got a bit of wind continuously blowing it maintains that warmth overnight."

And it's due to be another warm night tonight, with a minimum of 20 degrees forecast in the city before a wet start to Melbourne Cup day.

Mr Stewart said patchy rain and the chance of thunderstorms were forecast for tomorrow morning in Melbourne, before conditions cleared in the afternoon.

"At this stage it looks like it's most likely going to be clear for the timing of the running of the Cup," he said.

"Some of our computer models are still suggesting there's a chance of some shower activity, but most of them clear it early afternoon."

A maximum of 26 degrees is forecast in the city tomorrow.