The Border set for a sweltering Saturday

The Bureau of Meteorology predicted Albury-Wodonga would have an autumn that was warmer and drier than average.

They weren’t kidding.

The Border is heading for another hot March weekend, with a predicted top of 36 degrees on Saturday and 32 degrees on Sunday (downgraded from 37 degrees overnight). 

If Saturday hits that peak, it will be almost 10 degrees above the usual March average maximum of 27.6 degrees.

But, says, Ashleigh Lange, Bureau of Meterology forecaster, 36 degrees might be hot, but it won't be a March record-breaker.

Back in 1984 – on March 27 – Albury recorded a top of 39 degrees. Over the river, Wodonga was the same. 

In Wangaratta, the record temperature for March is 39.2 degrees, recorded on March 12, 2006. The Hume Reservoir matched that on March 8, this time in 1983. But Yarrawonga takes out the top March temperature at 39.4 degrees, recorded back in 1965 on March 4.

According to Ashleigh Lange, the last significant heat event for Albury-Wodonga was in March 2016. Border residents may remember this well when we had a stretch of two weeks above 35 degrees. 

“In Albury in 2016, we did equal that record of 39 degrees on 5 to 7 March. Overall in March, there have been 23 instances of over 36 or higher, eight of these occurred in March 2016.”

The BOM meteorologist says although temperatures are now milder than what they were originally forecast on Sunday, winds may be fierce. 

“We have a trough entering the state early on Sunday and ahead of that some warm north, north-westerly winds dragging warm air into New South Wales.

“We’re hitting up on Saturday and winds will also increase on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday they’ll be even stronger. I advise everyone to look at the fire weather warnings.” 

There is currently a high fire danger in place for the Riverina and the Border. For the Eastern Riverina a very high fire danger. 

That prediction for warmer and drier weather will also see less-than-average rainfalls between March and May

“We won’t get any rain the next couple of days. There’s nothing in the outlook period.”