Department of Health

The Bureau of Meteorology issues heatwave warnings before and during severe and extreme heatwaves in Victoria. Find out more about the Bureau’s heatwave warning system

    • In Australia, heat waves cause more deaths and illnesses than any other natural disaster.

      The Bureau of Meteorology issues warnings for severe and extreme heat waves to help Australians prepare for and reduce the impacts of extreme heat.

      A heatwave is when the maximum and minimum temperature is unusually hot for a particular area over a three day period.

      We consider these temperatures in relation to the local climate and recent weather heatwave warnings issued for two types of heatwave.

      Severe heatwaves are orange and they're likely to be more challenging for vulnerable people such as the elderly, particularly those with medical conditions.

      Extreme heat waves are red and they are rare.

      They are a problem for people who don't take actions to keep cool, even those who are healthy.

      A warning is issued when a heatwave is forecast within the next four days.

      It shows areas heatwave conditions are forecast as well as the expected intensity.

      Heatwave warnings consists of four maps which cover a rolling three day forecast.

      You can see here how the warnings are staggered, each covering a three-day period which overlaps with the next.

      A warning includes the expected maximum and minimum temperatures, the timing of when the heatwave will peak or ease, and the affected communities within the warning area.

      These warnings help prepare Australians for heat and provide advice on how to stay safe.

      For more information about the Bureau's heatwave warning service visit bom.gov.au/australia/heatwave/ and be sure to check for the latest warnings via the Bureau website and weather app.

    National heatwave warning system 

    The Bureau of Meteorology issues heatwave warnings when 10 per cent or more of a weather district is in a severe or extreme heatwave.  

    It is based on 3 days of unusually high maximum and minimum temperatures for that location.  

    They use 3 heatwave categories based on intensity:

    • low-intensity
    • severe
    • extreme.   

    According to the Bureau during these events, the following risks apply.

    • Low-intensity heatwaves - Most people can cope 
    • Severe heatwaves - Vulnerable people at risk
    • Extreme heatwaves - everyone is  at risk, even people who are healthy

    Heat warnings are available on the Bureau of Meteorology website, the Bureau of Meteorology app, and their telephone service (1300 978 022).    

    More information on these categories and how the Bureau calculates the heatwave forecast is available via the Bureau of Meteorology website.

    Heat health warning

    We use the Bureau's severe and extreme heatwave warnings and will issue a heat health warning (formerly a heat health alert).

    A heat health warning notifies the community, local governments, hospitals, health and community services of the risk and likely impact on people's health.  

    The Chief Health Officer may also issue a heat health warning when they consider forecast temperatures pose a health risk for example a single day of extremely high temperatures.

    Find your forecast district

    The following list shows all the local government areas in Victoria and what forecast district they belong to.

      • Ballarat City
      • Banyule City
      • Bass Coast Shire
      • Bayside City
      • Boroondara City
      • Brimbank City
      • Cardinia Shire
      • Casey City
      • Darebin City
      • Frankston City
      • French Island
      • Glen Eira City
      • Golden Plains
      • Greater Dandenong City
      • Greater Geelong City
      • Hepburn Shire
      • Hobsons Bay City
      • Hume City
      • Kingston City
      • Knox City
      • Macedon Ranges Shire
      • Manningham City
      • Maribyrnong City
      • Maroondah City
      • Melbourne City
      • Melton Shire
      • Monash City
      • Moonee Valley City
      • Moorabool Shire
      • Moreland City
      • Mornington Peninsula Shire
      • Nillumbik Shire
      • Port Phillip City
      • Queenscliffe Borough
      • Stonnington City
      • Surf Coast Shire
      • Whitehorse City
      • Whittlesea City
      • Wyndham City
      • Yarra City
      • Yarra Ranges Shire
      • East Gippsland Shire
      • Buloke Shire
      • Gannawarra Shire
      • Mildura Rural City
      • Swan Hill Rural City
      • Yarriambiack Shire (north of the netting fence)
      • Central Goldfields Shire
      • Lake Mountain Alpine Resort
      • Mitchell Shire
      • Mount Alexander Shire
      • Murrindindi Shire
      • Alpine Shire
      • Benalla Rural City
      • Falls Creek Alpine Resort
      • Indigo Shire
      • Mansfield Shire
      • Mount Buller Alpine Resort
      • Mount Hotham Alpine Resort
      • Mount Stirling Alpine Resort
      • Towong Shire
      • Wangaratta Rural City
      • Wodonga City
      • Campaspe Shire
      • Greater Bendigo City
      • Greater Shepparton City
      • Loddon Shire
      • Moira Shire
      • Strathbogie Shire
      • Ararat Rural City
      • Colac Otway Shire
      • Corangamite Shire
      • Glenelg Shire
      • Moyne Shire
      • Pyrenees Shire
      • Southern Grampians Shire
      • Warrnambool City
      • Baw Baw Shire
      • Latrobe City
      • Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort
      • South Gippsland Shire
      • Wellington Shire
      • Hindmarsh Shire
      • Horsham Rural City
      • Northern Grampians Shire
      • West Wimmera Shire
      • Yarriambiack Shire (south of the netting fence)

    Map of Victorian forecast districts

    View a map of Victorian districts below or access the map website.

    Reviewed 08 February 2023

    Health.vic

    Contact details

    Emergency Management Branch

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