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Fire risk after Christmas as high temperatures, thunderstorms hit Victoria

Victorians are being warned to brace for an elevated fire risk on Sunday as high temperatures, strong winds and thunderstorms hit the state. Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Chris Arvier said Sunday would be Victoria’s next “high impact weather day”.Melbourne can expect a top of 32 degrees on Sunday, with some parts of the state…

Victorians are being warned to brace for an elevated fire risk on Sunday as high temperatures, strong winds and thunderstorms hit the state.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Chris Arvier said Sunday would be Victoria’s next “high impact weather day”.

Melbourne can expect a top of 32 degrees on Sunday, with some parts of the state hitting the mid-high 30s.

“It’ll be warm and windy conditions right across the state throughout the day, with warm and gusty northerly winds,” he said on Thursday.

“That will lead to elevated fire conditions particularly in the northwestern districts for the Mallee, the Wimmera and the northern country where we’re expecting severe fire danger ratings at this stage.”

Mr Arvier said a cold front would cross the state later in the afternoon, bringing relief for Victorians but dry lightning could increase the risk for fires.

It’s forecast to settle down over the next few days leading up to New Year’s Eve, but then showers and thunderstorms could put a dampener on celebrations.

“By New Year’s a low pressure trough coming down the eastern seaboard of Australia will bring in showers in the eastern half of Victoria,” Mr Arvier said.

“It’ll be fairly humid conditions, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the eastern part of the state.

“Melbourne has a medium chance of seeing some of those showers as they’ll be confined to the east.”

Christmas Day across Victoria is forecast to be fine, with Melbourne expected to reach a top of 20 degrees.

The mercury will then jump to 27 degrees on Boxing Day, with winds starting to pick up before Sunday.

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