Hot, stormy week ahead

THE Border is set to usher in summer with a bang — a run of seven days of more than 30 degrees in the coming week.

Friday is expected to be the peak with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a near-record day for November of 39 degrees.

Yesterday the mercury topped 30 degrees by late morning, jumping 10 degrees in less than three hours up to 11am.

But fire authorities are already feeling the heat, a fire racing through a canola crop at Brockelsby on Thursday night while a grass fire, caused by an over-heated brake drum, yesterday threatened homes near Beechworth.

Thunderstorms are forecast tomorrow and for most afternoons this week, which is likely to provide lightning strikes and the threat of further fires.

Duty forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology Stewart Coombs said it was going to be a hot week.

“There will be a bit of a reprieve on Tuesday with some cloud keeping temperatures down to 31 degrees,” he said.

“But after that the temperature builds to 39 degrees on Friday ahead of what looks like some decent rain — perhaps as much as 20 millimetres into Saturday.

“Basically this is the same hot air mass that has been sitting in central Australia for the past week and we are now seeing it pick up some moisture.”

NSW Rural Fire Service Insp Marg Wehner said the hot weather was likely to accelerate the onset of total fire bans.

“The way the grass is curing at the moment we could see total fire bans in place in a matter of weeks,” she said.

“The change in the landscape has been dramatic — what was green is rapidly going brown.

“People need to be wary, as the grass cures it only take a small spark to start a grass fire.”

EDITORIAL:It's simple: Be prepared

WEATHER:Complete local forecast.

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