SCHOOLS and nursing homes in the north of Victoria have started applying extreme heat policies for tomorrow's scorcher.
Temperatures are expected to reach near-record heights, with some forecasters saying the blowtorch may even lead to the hottest spring day in Victorian history.
The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting Mildura's maximum will reach 44C tomorrow, just shy of the 44.5C record.
"One degree difference, or half a degree doesn't make much of a difference when it gets that far over 40,'' an Irymple school teacher, just a few kilometres south of Mildura, said.
Schools have already begun applying their extreme weather policy for tomorrow.
At one Mildura school, parents of students in Prep to Year 2 have been told they can pick up their children at 1pm, before the heat reaches its height.
Other parents in years 3 to 10 will be offered "modified classes'' in the afternoon.
"It usually means water fights,'' a Year 9 student told Weekly Times Now.
Nursing homes and aged care centres are also on high alert, particularly if the electrical power should fail as it has sometimes done in past summers, causing deaths among the elderly.
Portable generators were being checked today and supplies of icy-poles bought to prepare residents for the early start to summer.
Mildura's record of 44.5C was reached on November 17, 1980.
A bureau spokesman said the unseasonal late spring weather was due to the arrival of northerly winds which have coincided with the build up of hot weather in the inland.
Ouyen is also expected to be 44C tomorrow, Walpeup 44C, Hopetoun, Swan Hill 43C, Horsham 42C, Kerang 42C, Charlton 42C.
The temperature in Mildura was 37.4C at 2pm today and still rising.
The hottest temperature ever recorded in Victoria was 50.7C at Mildura on January 7, 1906.