A heatwave is gripping eastern Queensland, where some communities will sweat through temperatures up to 12 degrees Celsius above average today and tomorrow.
- Most of northern Australia is experiencing a heatwave
- Hot, dry winds from the interior are blowing east across Queensland
- Temperature records are not expected to tumble, despite being 12C above average in some areas
A hot and very dry air mass is coming in strong from the outback, which is unusual for this time of year.
A large chunk of the state is experiencing a low-intensity heatwave, however parts of south-east Queensland will endure severe conditions.
But Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Jess Gardner said when it came to the temperature they were “not expecting any records to be broken at this stage”.
“There is a chance we could see some records broken for how long a run of hot temperatures we’ve had but we would have to look at that after the event,” she said.
The temperature is forecast to reach 36C today and tomorrow in Brisbane — nearly 7C above the city’s December average.
Ipswich is due to get to 41C and 42C, about 10C over. Laidley and Gatton are also due to be above 40C today.
Severe fire danger is forecast for the South East Coast, Darling Downs and Granite Belt, and Wide Bay and Burnett Districts today and is likely for tomorrow as well.
“It’s looking like conditions are going to be very challenging in the coming days,” Ms Gardner said.
“We will see a bit of relief on Sunday with cooler temperatures and higher humidity but we’re not expecting any significant rainfall for the next week or so.”
Owner of outdoor Chambers Cafe in Ipswich Cheryl Norton said the heat had already been “pretty nasty” this week and they were not looking forward to Friday.
“It’s difficult, it’s hot, it makes your brain hurt,” she said from behind the hot box.
“We’ve made so many more ice lattes than usual, they’re running out the door.
“It’s too hot for coffee!”
Ms Norton is expecting the usual coffee orders to be put over ice over the next couple of days. (ABC News: Anna Hartley)
BOM forecaster David Crock said while it was not uncommon to have heatwaves at this time of year, the strength of the westerly flow was unusual.
“It’s a bit more typical of a winter pattern that we see particularly around August — around the time of the Ekka,” he said.
“The difference now of course is that it’s December so the atmosphere is a lot hotter, the continent is a lot hotter, the days are longer so we can get much more heat in those westerlies.
“It is quite an unusual pattern for this time of year … and for them to be persisting with so many hot days in a row.”