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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Blackouts, Closed Cafes and the Hottest Day in Ten Years: Here's What to Expect in Melbourne Today

The mercury is tipped to hit 44 this afternoon.
By Libby Curran
January 25, 2019
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Blackouts, Closed Cafes and the Hottest Day in Ten Years: Here's What to Expect in Melbourne Today

The mercury is tipped to hit 44 this afternoon.
By Libby Curran
January 25, 2019
  shares

Melbourne's in for a certifiable scorcher of a day today, with the mercury forecast to tip a whopping 44 degrees by 3pm. That's the hottest we've seen since Black Saturday's top of 46.4, close to a decade ago, on February 7, 2009. Yep, the air temperature had already clocked in at 31 degrees by 8am, a total fire ban is in place, and the Bureau of Meteorology is warning of some pretty intense weather to come, predicting the UV to reach a high 12.

But before you crank that air con, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has warned all this extreme weather will be putting some serious pressure on the state's power system, especially during peak usage time between 4–7pm. In an effort to avoid mass power blackouts, the operator's called in reserves to supply extra power across Victoria and South Australia if needed. The AEMO has also outlined ways in which consumers can better manage their energy usage, including keeping blinds down when not at home, running large appliances earlier in the day, and switching that air con to between 20 and 24 degrees.

Vic Emergency has shared its own advice for surviving the fiery temperatures, including drinking stacks of water, dressing in light, loose clothes, and avoiding being outside during the hottest part of the day. It's also reminded people that the temperature inside a parked car can double in minutes and that those most at risk of the severe weather are children, the elderly and those with medical conditions.

Meanwhile, Metro Trains is warning commuters to allow for extra travel time, due to possible heat-induced speed restrictions and system delays. Four-legged mates are also in for a hot one and the RSPCA's put out its own reminders about keeping pets cool and safe.

And if you're heading somewhere for lunch or coffee, best check if your destination is actually open. Some venues have changed up their opening times due to the heat, including Footscray's Bad Love Club, which will shut between 12pm and 5pm, and both Shop Ramen stores, which are ditching lunch and opening at 5.30pm. Queen Victoria Market stalls also have the choice to close at 1pm and Grub Fitzroy has decided to keep its doors firmly shut until Saturday morning.

It looks like we'll all be hanging out for some serious relief at around 3pm, which is when the BOM's forecast Melbourne's temperatures to plummet by around 15 degrees.

Image: St Kilda Beach, Visit Victoria.

Published on January 25, 2019 by Libby Curran

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