Happy, humid New Year: Temperatures to climb as Victorians welcome 2023

Both fireworks and the temperature will soar as Melbourne enters a new year, as the city braces for a forecast 35 degrees on the first day of 2023.

After sweltering through a scorching Christmas, Victorians will find little relief at the start of the new year, with high temperatures and humid conditions forecast.

Victorians should prepare for a hot and humid end to the year and start of 2023.Credit:The Age

A top of 29 degrees is expected in Melbourne on New Year’s Eve on Saturday, to be followed by a maximum of 35 degrees on New Year’s Day on Sunday.

However, it is not set to be as hot as January 1 this year, when the temperature reached 37.1 degrees at Essendon Airport on Melbourne’s hottest New Year’s Day in 14 years, when grassfires sprang around the state.

In Mildura, 36 degrees is forecast for Saturday and 40 degrees for New Year’s Day. Swan Hill and Echuca are to ring in the new year with respective top temperatures of 39 and 37 degrees on Sunday.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Helen Reid said: “It is expected to be warm and humid for much of Victoria.”

The meteorologist said Saturday was forecast to be a “tale of two halves” for Melbourne, with clearer conditions in the west and possible thunderstorms in the city’s east.

“Melbourne is on the edge of the action over New Year’s,” Reid said. “There may be a slight rumble, but we’re hoping for not too much rain during the main celebrations.”

Some parts of eastern and central Victoria might get wet, mainly during the afternoon and early evening.

But Reid said a trough of relatively low pressure should move west in time for Victorians to enjoy a dry first day of 2023.

Life Saving Victoria is urging people to stay safe around the water.Credit:Justin McManus

Residents in the city’s south-eastern suburbs might start the year with morning fog.

“Sunshine is expected through most of the state with the slight chance of afternoon showers or thunderstorms through eastern and central parts, but it’s not looking as frequent or severe as previous days,” Reid said.

Following a spate of drownings since Christmas Day, Life Saving Victoria is warning Victorians to remain vigilant in and near the water.

The likelihood of people drowning in Victorian waters increases by 68 per cent on a public holiday, Life Saving Victoria state agency commander Kane Treloar said.

The CFA warns that grassfires pose a threat in Victoria this summer.Credit:Luis Ascui

“Despite our best efforts and planning, we can’t be everywhere at once,” he said.

“At the end of the day, the onus for safety lies with the individual, and it’s up to each person to make safe decisions around water.”

Since the beginning of the patrol season in November, there have been 211 rescues at patrolled locations, and 101 of them took place between Christmas Day and December 29.

Life Saving Victoria is encouraging Victorians with limited water skills to forego the beach and consider swimming at a pool where lifeguards are on duty.

Meanwhile, Country Fire Authority chief officer Jason Heffernan warned of the possible fire risk.

“Even though it has been unseasonably wet and cool, particularly when we saw a lot of flooding, summer is coming,” Heffernan said.

Extremely dry areas in the west and north-west of the state are of the most concern.

Heffernan strongly warned against the use of illegal fireworks during New Year’s Eve celebrations due to the dry grassland across the state.

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