• The Australian heat at the moment "is a killer".
  • Meanwhile, at least 17 people have died during Storm Grayson in the US.

While the US east coast remains covered in deep snow thanks to Winter Storm Grayson (dubbed "bomb cyclone"), it is a different story on the other side of the planet, as Australia is getting so hot that roads are melting.

A 10km stretch of freeway began to melt in Victoria, near Melbourne, on Friday afternoon (5 January) when temperatures reached 30C. Photos showed "melting tar" breaking up the road surface in parallel straight lines, resulting in long delays for motorists.

Victoria Police tweeted: "Police are warning motorists to expect delays and to avoid the right-hand lane of the Hume Freeway (heading toward the city) near Broadford as there is a 10km stretch of road that is melting."

A spokeswoman for VicRoads told Australia's ABC News that hot weather could result in "bleeding of the road surface, which occurs when the bitumen becomes reactivated by warm temperatures and becomes soft and sticky". VicRoads was on scene to repair the road and said the surface would be monitored overnight.

Many road users on Twitter and Reddit expressed concern that the worst is yet to come, as temperatures are predicted to reach 42C on Saturday when police have warned there will be a "significant fire risk" in Victoria. There are also bushfire warnings in place for New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania over the weekend.

"This heat is a killer. It's going to be like a blast furnace tomorrow and you need to adjust what you do," Ambulance Victoria's state health commander Paul Holman told local reporters. One Reddit user claimed "the roads are melting in Canberra too," north-east of Melbourne.

Meanwhile, the US east coast is still battling a "bomb cyclone" which has resulted in flights being cancelled and road and school closures in areas as far north as New York and down towards the gulf in Florida.

Sharks are even suffering from cold shock and washing up on shores, and iguanas are falling from trees as their bodies enter an icy shutdown. Even parts of Niagara Falls have been frozen for days.

At least 17 people have died so far across the US during Storm Grayson, and more than 80,000 homes and businesses along the east coast lost power. The storm is the product of a rapid plunge in barometric pressure that some weather forecasters are referring to as bombogenesis or a "bomb cyclone", which brings fast, heavy snowfall and high winds.