Australian meteorologists say Melbourne is about to experience its most intense heatwave in more than 100 years.
Temperatures over the next four days are expected to be in the mid-40s across much of the state of Victoria.
Scorching temperatures forced organisers to suspend play at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
The tennis tournament's extreme heat policy was invoked when air temperatures soared above 40 degrees.
Scott Williams, a senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology, said Melbourne's temperatures would peak on Thursday, reaching 44 in some parts of the city.
If the forecast is accurate, it will also be Victoria's driest period in 77 years, increasing the possibility of bushfires in the state.