Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) climatologist Dr Lynette Bettio said the heatwave conditions haven’t been unseasonal, but the minimum temperatures have been higher than average.
“Of course we do get hot days in January, but what we’ve also seen, particularly in the last few days, is some really warm overnight temperatures, which have certainly exacerbated the hot conditions we’ve been enduring,” Dr Bettio said.
“We’ve seen some record night time temperatures, the most significant in Mildura, the north-west of the state, which set its own January minimum temperature record of 31.4 degrees overnight, on January 29, which is also the second warmest minimum temperature recorded for Victoria.
“The north-west of the state, and south-east of the state have also seen high overnight temperatures.”
Ouyen recorded the second highest minimum temperature for the month, at 30.3 degrees on the same day, with Hopetoun hitting 29.1 degrees.
Dr Bettio said these heatwave conditions can not only impact humans, but also animals, who get no relief at night when temperatures don’t decrease significantly.
She said no extreme weather is forecast at this point for the next three months.
“Looking at what’s coming for the next three months, if you look at our rainfall and temperature outlook, maximum temperatures are forecast to be somewhat cooler over northern parts of the state than average,” she said.
“It might be a bit warmer over south-western parts of the state in February and April.”
According to BoM, for more of the east of the country, there’s no indication of particularly wetter or drier than average conditions in the next couple of months.
Farmers are being urged to monitor livestock in heat waves, ensuring they have access to shade and water.