Fox News Weather Center

Thunderstorms threaten to delay play at Australian Open on Friday

After sweltering temperatures for the first two days of the Australian Open, cooler air will bring more comfortable playing conditions by the end of the week.

However, the cooler temperatures may be accompanied by disruptive thunderstorms.

The Australian Open started play on Monday, when the afternoon high rose to 33 C (91 F). It was even hotter on Tuesday, as the mercury rose to 37 C (98 F).

The good news for players and fans is that cooler air will move in for the end of the week, making for more comfortable conditions.

Starting Wednesday, afternoon highs will take a nose dive, falling back closer to normal. Highs could climb to near 28 C (82 F).

Clouds and a few showers will be around in the morning, but delays in play are not likely.

Morning sunshine and a dry day on Thursday will help to boost temperatures into upper 20s C (mid-80s F).

A delay is more likely with the wet weather forecast for the end of the week.

"A strong cold front will push across New South Wales on Friday. Any thunderstorms can be strong in the afternoon and evening hours," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.

These storms could bring gusty winds and downpours that will be heavy enough to delay third round play on the outside courts on Friday.

Following the front, it will be much cooler for the weekend.

"For third and fourth round play on Saturday and Sunday, highs will only be around 22 or 23 C (71-73 F)," Nicholls added. If the forecast holds true, this is a full 15 C (27 F) cooler than the peak temperatures on Tuesday.

Not only are these temperatures more comfortable, but they are below average for the summer heat this time of year. Normally, Melbourne has highs around 26 C (78 F) for the end of January.