A heatwave affecting much of southeastern Australia’s inland is likely to continue for another week, increasing the health risk particularly in the very young and elderly.
The most extreme heat, compared to averages, is affecting northern Victoria and southern New South Wales but there has been some night-time relief. For much of this region daytime temperatures have been running about 10 degrees above average but for the next week both days and nights should run similarly hot.
Echuca has just had its hottest spell in two years and hottest March spell in 59 years of records, reaching at least 39 degrees for four days running. Despite the daytime heat some relief has arrived overnight, cooling to near 20 degrees by sunrise. Looking ahead to this week, nights will take longer to cool while days continue to heat to the high thirties.
The Albury-Wodonga area has reached at least 35 degrees for the first six days of the month, its longest run of March days this hot in 59 years of records, beating the previous record of four days, set in 1983. For the next week, nights will be noticeably warm, some 10 degrees warmer than average, just like some days.
A significant cooler change is unlikely until at least next weekend but any change should only be weak with warmer-than-average days and nights to persist well into the third week of the month. This could be enough to enable this March to become the hottest on record.
The only other relief is in the form of showers and thunderstorms which will develop some afternoons but any cooling from these will only be brief, most likely only for a few hours.
Further south, cooler changes are arriving every few days bringing more frequent relief.