Melbourne's heat to take brief holiday, but return with force

Melbourne's heat to take brief holiday, but return with force

It might have been inconceivable just a few hours ago but Melbourne’s searing hot weather has rapidly given way to a refreshing cool change, with forecasters even predicting cardigans as the order of the evening commute.

Low cloud cover and a south to south-easterly wind change brought the temperature down to 26 degrees at 12.30pm from an earlier high of 35 degrees.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Scott Williams was bang on with his Monday morning prediction that the temperature would drop rapidly just after midday.

"It is almost going to be cardigan weather as people are going home, with a significant change," he said.

Tuesday is expected to provide the only reprieve from the 30-plus-degree days this week as temperatures rise on Wednesday to 31 degrees, with 38 degrees expected on Saturday. Temperatures in the state's north are tipped to drop from the low 40s to low 30s on Tuesday.


Mr Williams predicted Melbourne's weather would remain mostly hot, with temperatures in the 30s through February and into early March.

"We are not going to get rid of the heat in any great rush," Mr Williams said.

He said Melbourne had a very dry January, with just 13 millimetres of rain compared to the 47-millimetre average. The highest day of rainfall was January 25 with 5 millimetres.

Mr Williams said normally a major rain pattern from the centre of the continent would push south to Victoria to cool and refresh the state and add to rainwater reserves. Queensland's monsoonal weather also had little prospect of reaching Victoria.

"After a not particularly hot start to summer, it is shaping up to be a very intense rest of the summer," Mr Williams said.

December also had lower-than-average falls with 39 millimetres recorded against the average of 59 millimetres. The last "decent" rain was on December 10, when 10 millimetres fell, he said.

Mr Williams said rainfall was not as low as in 2009, when just 0.8 millimetres of rain fell in January.

With Jessica Wright

Deborah Gough

Deborah Gough is a reporter for The Age

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