UPDATE: 4.06PM THURSDAY:
THE Country Fire Authority has declared a Total Fire Ban for the Wimmera and Mallee on Friday.
No fires can be lit in the open air, with the fire danger rating set to severe for both regions.
The authority has advised people living in areas at risk of fire to activate their bushfire plan.
Temperatures are forecast to soar into the 40s across some parts of both regions on Friday, after reaching the high 30s on Thursday.
Horsham had hit a top of 38 degrees at 4pm, while Stawell recorded 36.6 degrees at the same time.
The mercury reached 38.2 degrees in Nhill at 3.30pm, while Stawell’s highest temperature of the day so far was 36.6 degrees at 4pm.
A heat health alert is in place for the Mallee for Friday.
In a related development, updated Environmental Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations mean Victorians can run their air conditioners all night – regardless of the noise generated – if a heat health alert is issued in their area.
The alert exemption has been added to the regulations following community feedback earlier this year.
On non-alert days, regulations prohibit air conditioner noise before 7am on weekdays and 9am on weekends and public holidays, and any noise after 11pm.
The Environment Protection Authority’s policy and regulation director Johanna Bidwell said many people might have been unaware about restrictions on air conditioner noise.
“We recognise that when an alert is active, it is in the interest of public health that people – especially vulnerable groups, including the elderly and young children – are able to use their air conditioners with no time restrictions,” she said.
Noise regulations are shared across a number of agencies, including councils and police.
TEMPERATURES are set to soar higher than originally predicted across the Wimmera and Mallee on Thursday and Friday.
The Bureau of Meteorology has adjusted its forecast for most parts of the region to at least a degree higher.
The extreme conditions have triggered Health Victoria’s a heat health alert for the Wimmera and Mallee regions on Thursday.
An alert is also in place for the Mallee on Friday.
Country Fire Authority fire danger ratings have been set at very high for both regions on Thursday, and severe for Friday.
Horsham is set to reach a top of 39 degrees on Thursday and 40 on Friday, while Ararat will reach 38 degrees on Friday – two degrees higher than initially forecast.
Stawell is forecast to reach 36 and 38 on the two days, while Nhill is tipped to reach 39 and 40 degrees respectively.
Warracknabeal’s forecast remains unchanged.
Tips to survive the heat, from the state government’s Better Health Channel:
- Drink water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Take a bottle with you always.
- Hot cars kill. Never leave kids, older people or pets in cars. The temperature inside a parked car can double within minutes.
- Keep cool. Seek out air-conditioned buildings, draw your blinds, use a fan, take cool showers and dress in light and loose clothing made from natural fabrics.
- Plan ahead. Schedule activities in the coolest part of the day and avoid exercising in the heat. If you must go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you.
- Check in on others. Look after those most at risk in the heat – your neighbour living alone, the elderly, the young, people with a medical condition and don’t forget your pets.
GET ready Wimmera – our first test of summer is coming.
After some locations in the region experienced their coldest December day in five years on Sunday, the mercury will rise about 20 degrees higher this week.
Sunday’s top of 19.9 degrees in Horsham was the city’s coldest December day since 18.5 degrees was recorded on December 5, 2013.
But that will be a distant memory when, on Thursday and Friday, the temperature soars to 38 and 39 degrees respectively in the city.
The bureau has forecast tops of 36 and 37 for Stawell, 35 and 36 for Ararat, and 38 and 36 for Edenhope.
Warracknabeal looks set to be among the hottest places in the Wimmera for the next two days, with maximum temperatures of 39 and 41 degrees forecast for Thursday and Friday respectively.
The bureau expects the temperature to reach 39 degrees in Nhill on both days.
A high-pressure system to Victoria’s east will strengthen on Thursday and drive the hot conditions, before a low-pressure trough moves into the state’s west on Friday.
The bureau predicts temperatures will fall between eight to 10 degrees in most locations on Saturday, with top temperatures in the high 20s to low 30s across the weekend.