40, and it’s one for the records

If temperatures reach the forecast 42 degrees today, the Border will have suffered through what’s believed to be its longest January heatwave recorded.

The mercury has hit above 40 degrees for four consecutive days from Tuesday, peaking on Thursday at 43.6, just a degree off the hottest January day.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Clare Mullen said she believed it was the longest stretch of hot weather since records were kept in Albury 40 years a go.

“It’s been an extreme heatwave — we’ve broken records all over the place,” she said.

Records kept at the Albury Airport weather station since in 1993 show it would be the first time there had been five days in row above 40 degrees.

Both last year and 2009 had four days of above 40 degree weather.

Benalla and Corryong both had five days above 38 degrees, which is equal to the most recorded in the past 40 years.

Unlike Melbourne, where temperatures dropped to the mid-twenties last night, the Border will have to wait another day to get only slight relief.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rod Dickson said the maximum would be 37 degrees on Sunday and then stay in the mid-30s for the rest of the week.

“Southerly winds are going to stall over North East Victoria on Saturday morning,” he said.

“From Sunday hot air that developed in Western Australia and dragged across the state is being replaced by cooler air from the south.”

Meanwhile, VicRoads has advised drivers be aware of sticky roads in the region due to the extreme heat.

Vicroads Regional Director Bryan Sherritt said hot weather could cause a “bleeding” of the road’s surface, particularly on recently sealed roads, resulting in the bitumen becoming soft and sticky.

“In certain circumstances, temporary speed limit signs may be installed for safety purposes,” he said.

“VicRoads asks drivers to exercise caution when travelling along these roads.”

“Drivers are also advised to be aware that vehicle breakdowns are more likely in extreme heat, so please be considerate of other drivers.”

Roads affected include:

Wodonga region

- Murray Valley Highway Berringama.

- Murray Valley Highway near Cudgewa-Tintaldra Road.

Wangaratta region

- Buckland Gap Road near Fighting Gully Road.

- Great Alpine Road, Baldy Corner (Mount Hotham).

- Great Alpine Road near St Bernards Depot.

- Wangaratta-Whitfield Road, Oxley at the Glenrowan-Myrtleford Road intersection.

- Beechworth-Wangaratta Road Carraragarmungee near Tarrawingee Pub.

Contact VicRoads on 13 11 70 if you see any road damage that may be a safety risk.