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Melbourne To Swelter Through Hottest Day On Record Since Black Saturday

Melbourne is expected to swelter through its hottest day in nearly a decade.

Temperatures are expected to hit a maximum of 44 degrees on Friday, the highest temperatures since Black Saturday on February 7, 2009, when temperatures hit a record high of 46.4 degrees.

"It's certainly exceptional conditions today," Bureau of Meteorology's senior forecaster Michael Efron told 10 daily.

By 8am, temperatures were already sitting at 35 degrees, with winds of up to 60 to 70km per hour dusting up the suburbs.

People are being warned to stay hydrated and put off travelling outside if they can, amid news that heatwaves claim more lives than any other natural disaster.

"Check on friends, neighbours, and relatives around you. Vulnerable people are at particular risk given conditions expected today," Efron warned.

It's not just the maximum temperatures Melburnians need to worry about, either.

"Temps overnight not really falling below the mid-20s, it does impact on people's ability to cool down," Efron said.

"That can certainly increase the risk of medical episodes. Certainly, those overnight temps are more of a risk compared to those daytime temps."

READ MORE: This Aussie Pub Is Giving Away A Cold One When The Temperature Hits 45 Degrees

Many were without power as the temperature struggled to dip below 30C, with about 5800 properties affected by outages on Thursday night.

A spokesman for the State Control Centre said the cause of the outages was under investigation.

The blackouts came after Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio urged households to ration their non-essential electricity use.

While "absolutely confident" there was enough energy supply to get through the night, Ms D'Ambrosio suggested turning off dishwashers, kitchen appliances, washing machines and pool pumps.

"What we are asking Victorians to do is just be aware and be mindful that the activities we undertake when we're home do put that further pressure on our energy system," she told reporters on Thursday.

Severe to extreme fire danger warnings are in place across the state, and authorities are urging people not to take risks during the hot weather, including leaving children in cars or swimming at unpatrolled beaches.

Victorians can expect some relief by about 3pm on Friday, when temperatures will drop up to 20 degrees in the space of 30-60 minutes.

Squally southerly winds will bring a chance of thunderstorm activity, and anyone flying in to Melbourne's Tullamarine or Avalon airports can expect a bumpy landing at best, and delays at worst.

"The strong northerly wind does limit the number of planes that can land per hour," Efron said.

"There's impacts pretty much everywhere."

With AAP.

Contact the author: abrucesmith@networkten.com.au