When the cool change reached Mortlake in the state’s west earlier on Sunday afternoon, the temperature dropped from 28 degrees to 18 degrees in just 40 minutes. The swiftness of the change is expected to be similar across Melbourne at 4pm.

“There’s a cold front just pushing in across the Bass Strait and southern Victoria, and with warm temperatures ahead of it and cold temperatures behind, it’s going to change pretty sharply,” Mr Stuart said.

“The winds will flick around to the south-west, so it will be quite a fresh change as it comes through, and then give it a couple of hours and some showers will come … The showers will clear out pretty early on Monday morning.”

The temperature at Olympic Park in Melbourne hit a top of 31.1 degrees just after 2pm.

The heat of the day and potential for strong winds across Victoria caused the Country Fire Authority to declare Sunday a total fire ban day for the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country and North Central regions of the state. Holidaymakers were put on notice about the danger of campfires.

Swan Hill and Mildura sat at just over 39 degrees just before 2pm.

“The change will get up there [to the north-west] eventually,” Mr Stuart said, “But it won’t be til the overnight period. It will stay quite warm until then.”

Robinvale residents were given a “watch and act” warning as firefighters battled an out of control blaze in Victoria’s far north-west, about 90 kilometres south-east of Mildura.

The grassfire near the Robinvale Rifle Range was travelling towards the Murray River at 12.40pm on Sunday.

Much of Victoria was rated as having a moderate chance of occurrences of epidemic thunderstorm asthma on Sunday.

The Melbourne Pollen Count is encouraging caution for asthma and hay fever sufferers across Melbourne and in the South West, Central, North Central, North East, East Gippsland, and West and South Gippsland regions of the state.

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