IT’S only three days old but 2013 already looks to be getting off to a hot start with a weeklong heat wave due to kick in today.
And the hot weather could last until the end of next week with little or no rainfall predicted for almost 10 days.
According to Weatherzone, Ballarat will reach 36 today, followed by days of 37, 27, 28, 36 and 29.
And if the mercury manages to climb a little higher and sneak past 30 each day, it will be just the third time in the last decade that Ballarat has braved six straight days of 30 or more.
The hot spell is the result of a hot air mass building over central and Western Australia which will filter down into south-eastern Australia.
A weak cool change will come through on Friday night but the lack of rain will mean any respite will be mild and brief.
“Because the change is weak it’s really only going to cause the heat to contract to the north before pushing back south,” Weatherzone Meteorologist Ben Domensino said.
“Sunday should be around the 30 degree mark before Monday heads back into mid 30 territory again.”
Mr Domensino said the hot spell was nothing out of the ordinary, with an eight-day period last January bringing seven days of 30 degrees or more in Ballarat.
“We’re expecting temperatures to be near or above average for the rest of summer so it’s likely that we’ll see more hot days ahead,” he said.
“It is common for these hot air masses to affect south-eastern Australia at this time of year.”
The City of Ballarat has also released a warning for residents ahead of the heat wave, along with tips to keep cool and safe during the dangerous period.
Among suggestions, they recommend that residents keep animals in the shade with plenty of water, check on any elderly, sick or frail friends or relatives and that children and pets never be left in parked cars.
In order to reduce the risk of heatstroke they say drink plenty of water, keep out of the heat, stay in the shade if you need to go outside and see your doctor if you feel sick or suffer a chronic illness.