Bikinis then brollies as state runs hot and cold

Sweltering one day, shivering the next - that's the prospect Melburnians face this weekend, continuing the city's up-and-down weather of the past fortnight.

Umbrellas, jumpers, sunscreen, bathers and even scarves have seen sighted across the city as we again deal with the city's volatile climate.

Friday is expected to deliver a warm 29 degrees, but Saturday will be another scorcher, with a top of 37 expected.

But don't pack the umbrella away just yet. After the Saturday sunshine, showers are expected late in the day, clearing on Sunday, when the jumpers will be again needed - the top temperature is predicted to be 20.

Overnight, gale-force winds buffeted the city's south-east as a cold front forced temperatures down and brought summertime snowfall to the Alps.

But over the past two decades, Melbourne's mean temperature has never risen above 27 degrees.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the mean February temperature between 1981 and 2010 was 26.6 degrees, while in January it was 26.3 degrees and 24.4 degrees in December.

Going back further, between 1971 and 2000, the February mean was 26.5 degrees and the January mean 25.8 degrees.

Last year's December mean was 25.1 degrees, with the hottest day last New Year's Eve, when it was 36 degrees. But last December followed a similar pattern to this year's variable temperatures.

On December 4 last year, the temperature rose to just 18.6 degrees, which followed two days of temperatures in the low 20s. By December 8, the mercury rose to 32, but plummeted just three days later to 20 - where it stayed for four days.

On November 28 last year, the temperature hit 35 degrees. The day prior was a 29-degree day, with 39 millimetres of rain.

And back 11 months, to January this year, the mercury hit 40 on the second day of the year - but by the 5th day of 2012, the temperature dropped to 22.

The story Bikinis then brollies as state runs hot and cold first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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