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Skies Open On Derby Day Racegoers As Wild Weather Hits Melbourne

A mix of thunderstorms and humidity greeted racing patrons as they began Melbourne Cup Carnival festivities on Saturday.

With their stylish, oversized umbrellas hoisted high, fashionable attendees braved the wild weather at the AAMI Victoria Derby Day celebrations.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) warned Melbourne residents of humid and cloudy conditions with sporadic showers and isolated thunderstorms as a low pressure trough crossed the state on Saturday.

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Showers and strong winds are expected to ease into the evening, according to BoM.

Thunderstorms and humidity greeted racing patrons as they began Melbourne Cup Carnival festivities on Saturday. Image: AAP
No raining on our parade! L-R: Georgia Love, Scott Tweedie, Liv Phyland. Image: Studio 10
Derby Day attendees improvised in the wet weather conditions. Image: AAP

Despite its inconvenience for the Cup, the cooler change was welcomed after days of "sweltering" heat across Victoria and lower NSW.

Rainfall was below to very much below average for most of the country last month, with southern Australia recording its driest October on record.

November and December are likely to be drier than usual for almost all of Australia, but January may see an easing of the dry signal.

Asthma Risk

A moderate risk of thunderstorm asthma was in place across central Victoria -- including Melbourne -- and northern parts of the state on Friday.

The warning dropped to moderate to low on Saturday.

"It is the first flagging of a high risk of the conditions that can cause epidemic thunderstorm asthma," Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.

Victorians who suffer asthma or are sensitive to hayfever were told to stay indoors due to the high-risk epidemic thunderstorm asthma. November is the peak period for the condition.

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NSW Bushfire Risk 'Very High'

Parts of New South Wales were also alerted to "very high" fire danger on Saturday as Sydneysiders faced another day of poor air quality.

There were 63 bush and grass fires burning across the state late on Saturday morning, with 34 still to be contained.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the haze was likely to continue as winds from the north and northeast continue to push the grass fire smoke south.

"We're expecting the smoke to continue into Saturday and for the first part of Sunday but as showers start to increase about eastern parts, the showers and rain should mix with the smoke particulates in the air and help to reduce the smoke in general," BOM meteorologist Katarina Kovacevic said.

The Rural Fire Service (RFS) said some areas across NSW were predicted to receive up to 50 millimetres of rain over the weekend.

And remember, wherever you are during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, you can log on to all the latest at 10daily.com.au/cupweekon10.

And of course, we'll be all over social -- follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Network 10 is the official broadcaster of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

With AAP.