Queensland: the sizzling state
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QUEENSLAND is living up to its reputation as the Sunshine State, with some parts of the state tipped to experience their hottest December day in almost a decade.
Not surprisingly, the extreme heat and increased winds are causing headaches for the Queensland Rural Fire Service, with 46 fires burning across the state as of 1pm (AEST) on Tuesday. The fires were being monitored but none were considered threatening.
Fire weather warnings are current for extensive parts of the state, with places like Stanthorpe, Toowoomba, Dalby, Ipswich, Kilcoy, Boonah and Beaudesert expected to reach extreme fire danger levels.
In Brisbane, the mercury had already reached 33 degrees by 10am on Tuesday.
Other areas recording stifling hot temperatures around 10am included Century Mine (38°C), Richmond (36.8°C), Camooweal (36.6°C), Cloncurry (36.0°C) and Beerburrum (35.0°C).
If Brisbane and Maroochydore hit their predicted maximum of 39 and 38 degrees respectively, both locations would have had their hottest day in five years with temperatures soaring 10 degrees above the December average maximum.
Similarly, if Ipswich reaches its forecast 41 degrees maximum, it would have reached 10 degrees above average and endured its hottest day in eight years.
These searing temperatures are being caused by arid desert winds surging in ahead of a low-pressure trough.
The passage of this trough will see temperatures fall behind this system, with Brisbane expecting a much cooler high of 33 degrees on Wednesday, before temperatures drop even further to maximums of 29 degrees on Thursday and 27 degrees on Friday.
Weather Channel chief meteorologist Dick Whitaker said southern and central Queensland should expect cooler conditions to prevail over the next 48 hours.
"We've got a cooler southerly gradually moving up into the area and eroding that big pool of very hot air that's been dominant now for a couple of weeks," Mr Whitaker said.
QUEENSLAND HOT SPOTS
- Julia Creek...42.6
- Century Mine...42.5
- Mt Isa...40.1