Temperatures are set to soar into the 40s across Victoria on Monday, while Tasmania’s capital could experience its hottest December day in more than a century.
A total fire ban is in place across Victoria with extreme fire danger ratings in most regions.
By 10am it had already hit 38.6C in Mildura and 39.1C in Swan Hill, with both regional cities set to reach at least 44C on Monday.
Melbourne’s maximum is forecast to be 43C.
The Bureau of Meteorology expects strong and gusty winds throughout Monday as well as thunderstorms that will give way to much cooler air across Victoria later in the day.
Further south, Hobart could swelter through its hottest December day in 122 years.
BOM duty forecaster Matthew Thomas told The Mercury the Tasmanian capital last recorded a December day hotter than 40C on December 30, 1897 when it reached 40.6C.
Hobart’s hottest day on record for any month was January 4, 2013 when it reached 41.8C.
Thunderstorms are likely in Hobart on Monday afternoon and evening with gusty winds.
“Hot to very hot temperatures and low relative humidity … will produce severe to extreme fire dangers over the east and central parts of the state,” the BOM forecast states.
In NSW, firefighters are bracing for deteriorating bushfire conditions ahead of New Year’s Eve.
Temperatures will start building on Monday and are likely to climb past 40C in western Sydney and parts of regional NSW by Tuesday (December 31), according to the BOM.
“Hot, dry and windy conditions are bringing elevated fire dangers in the southern and eastern fire districts on Monday,” a fire weather warning issued by the bureau this morning states.
The ACT will experience similar conditions with Canberra forecast to hit 39C on Monday.
Adelaide’s run of hot weather continues with a top of 40C today.
New Year’s Eve will also be blisteringly hot for some parts of the country.
On Tuesday, Sydney could reach 33C, while parts of the city’s west and Canberra could soar to 38C.
Darwin will end the year with a maximum of 34C, while Brisbane and Perth will reach 30C.
The maximum temperatures will plummet in Adelaide (25C), Hobart (22C) and Melbourne (21C) to see out 2019.
– with AAP