Severe heatwave set to scorch Victoria

A severe heatwave is set to scorch much of the state with no relief in sight until the middle of the month.

Temperatures in Bendigo are forecast to be in the mid-to-high thirties until Friday. Some showers are possible for the city later in the week.

Northern Victoria will swelter through the week with temperatures tipped to reach almost 40 degrees in some areas. 

Southern parts of the state are expected to escape the blistering heatwave, but temperatures will hover around the 30-degree mark for most of the week. 

"A lot of March heat records are going to be broken," Weatherzone forecaster Brett Dutschke said. 

"In fact the Albury Wodonga area is still on track for its longest run of 35 degree days in March in their 55 years of records." 

Melbourne is in for a muggy week ahead, with a top temperature of 35 degrees forecast on Tuesday.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Stewart Coombs said much of Victoria was "trapped in a hot air mass".

He said a dominant high pressure system was to blame for the hot conditions, which may ease off slightly on Wednesday as a weak cool trough drifts past inland Victoria. 

"It's remaining pretty hot up there for the foreseeable future," Ms Coombs said, adding areas along the Murray River were bearing the brunt of the heatwave.

Mr Coombs said Victoria had experienced above-average temperatures in the first week of March.

"I think the temperatures are more characteristic of summer than autumn," he said.

The hot weather will continue into next weekend in Melbourne, with a top of 34 degrees predicted on Friday followed by Saturday's top of 28 degrees.

Mr Dutschke said brief showers and thunderstorms would bring temporary relief to the southern tip of the state.

"For southern victoria, there are weak cooler changes every few days. That's keeping them out of heatwave territory," he said. 

But he warned the nights ahead could get more uncomfortable. 

"The further we get into this heatwave the nights are going to, in general, get warmer."

Mr Dutschke said high humidity and low winds forecast meant the heatwave would generally not pose a severe fire risk.

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