After dangerously cold air brought exceptional low temperatures of -40C or so in the States last week - an intense heatwave on the other side of the world will bring temperatures in excess of 40C in Australia this week.

As the Australian Open gets underway tomorrow (tonight our time), temperatures will soar.

Highs of 35C or so are expected as the tournament begins despite a cool southerly breeze.

By Tuesday, as the wind veers north-westerly, oppressive heat will be drawn in from the interior with temperatures nearer 40C or more expected on court.

This echoes an record breaking heatwave in Australia this time last year.

Last year was Australia's hottest ever on record with 49.6C recorded at Moomba in the south, the highest temperature since 1998. There was also a record number of consecutive days where the national average temperature exceeded 39C - the longest heatwave of this severity since 1973.