Records to tumble across Qld as heatwave becomes too much to bear

Heat records could tumble today as sweltering conditions intensify in parts of southern Queensland, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.

Dec 02, 2020, updated Dec 02, 2020
A koala cools off in a sprinkler in Christine Tully's backyard near Dalby on Sunday.

A koala cools off in a sprinkler in Christine Tully's backyard near Dalby on Sunday.

A trough system that brought scorching temperatures to southwest Queensland over the last few days now has its sights set on parts of the Maranoa and Warrego and Darling Downs and Granite Belt.

BOM senior forecaster Felim Hanniffy said several locations are set to approach December records in the wake of Queensland’s second-warmest November.

The mercury is forecast to hit 46 degrees Celsius in Goondiwindi, 44C in St George, 41C in Dalby and 37C in Toowoomba.

“Inland, you’re looking at 8 to 11 degrees above average and even the overnight minimums could be 8 to 10 degrees above average,” Hanniffy said.

“Most of the Darling Downs is 10 to 11 degrees above average.”

Southeast Queensland will feel the heat too, with Brisbane set to peak on 34C, Ipswich 40C and a blistering 42C forecast for Gatton.

Hanniffy said the trough system will edge slightly east on Thursday.

“It’s not going very far in a hurry though … it’s just going to stall there but it could bring some localised thunderstorms and some locally heavy falls about the Granite Belt,” he said.

“To the west of it, over in the far southwest and Maranoa, it’ll be a little bit cooler but still well above average for the time of year.

“Temperatures, even on Thursday, will still be in the low 40s.”

Goondiwindi Regional Mayor Lawrence Springborg said despite the run of days above 40C locals were coping with the conditions.

“People don’t like [the heat] a lot but people in rural areas tend to deal with the heat and the reality of those things in their everyday life,” he said.

“Working in temperatures over 40 degrees is something a lot of people do.

“Of course the big issue now is we’d love to see some rain and, hopefully, that’s something that’s going to happen in the not-too-distant future.”

Hanniffy said it would not be until the weekend when another system was set to develop in south-west Queensland late on Saturday that temperatures should ease.

“That system looks like the significant system that will flush out all this very warm and muggy weather,” he said.

“Later in the weekend, and early next week, it’ll bring a change back to cooler conditions across parts of the south as well.

“If you look at, for instance Birdsville and these areas, temperatures [will be] dropping back to the low 30s by about Monday and temperatures could be as much as 15 degrees cooler than what we’re seeing at the moment.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have imposed a local fire ban until 11:59pm Monday December 7 for residents in the Logan, Scenic Rim, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Somerset and Gold Coast local government areas.

Last month was Queensland’s second-warmest November on record.

November 2014 was the warmest.

Maximum temperatures last month were 2.85C above average, the minimum was 2.17C above and the mean temperature 2.51C above.

Birdsville in the state’s far south-west had a November-record run of four days above 46C, peaking on 47.1 degrees on Monday.

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