GET set for a scorching summer with January likely to produce a run of plus-40-degree days, says a retired weatherman.
Wangaratta-based Peter Nelson says the recent run of near record barometric pressures are indicators of what is likely to happen late next month.
He says the Border can expect days of 42 and 43 degrees.
The retired CSIRO weatherman also expects there to be a significant fire threat pointing to recent and historical prece-dents to back his theory.
“Mildura recently broke the record for its hottest November day, a record that stretched back to 1905,” he said.
“That hot, dry spring was followed by an extremely hot late January — Mildura the hottest at 51, Deniliquin 47.5 degrees and Melbourne 43.
“I can’t find any daily records for the Border but clearly it would have been more than 40 here, too.”
Mr Nelson said the barometer reached 1027.5 millibars on Monday in Melbourne and says that aligns with hot Januarys and bushfires for the Border and North East.
“It was the same December peak recorded ahead of the deadly Black Friday fires in 1939,” he said.
“On that Friday in February the temperatures was 48.5 degrees at Eldorado.
“In 1951 there were high barometric readings in November ahead of a bad bushfire season later that summer with one blaze roaring through Barnawartha and into Wodonga.
“Then in December, 2006 there was a reading of 1027.2 ahead of the fires that burnt for months into 2007.
“In nearly all these cases it was extremely hot weather, a lot of hot days.”
Mr Nelson expects a burst of heat in early January and again in early February.
“But the worst of it will be the fourth week of January when we will see a run of plus-40-degree days,” he said.
“People will have to get used to it again after what have been pretty benign summers in the past two years.”