Brief relief before heatwave back with a vengeance
Make the most of today's "cooler" temperatures, because the intense heatwave that sunburnt Queensland yesterday will return tomorrow and most likely stay until Tuesday.
On a day where seatbelt buckles turned into branding tools and bitumen melted under your feet, temperatures soared well and truly past 40C right across Queensland.
A 48-year-old record for hottest December afternoon temperature was broken for Applethorpe on the Granite Belt, which recorded 37.5C.
Previously the town had reached 36.8C on December 24, 1972.
Two more records were smashed, with Dalby and Warwick breaking December afternoon records previously set in 2013.
The highest temperatures in Queensland yesterday included Windorah in Channel Country at 45.5C, Djarra in northwest Queensland at 44.1C and Roma in Maranoa and Warrego region at 44.7C.
In the southeast Gatton hit 39.4C, Beaudesert is at 35.8C, Ipswich at 36C and Brisbane City at 31.9C.
The sweltering heat was matched with a severe thunderstorm warning in the Granite Belt and Darling Downs regions.
Queenslanders will get a brief reprieve today as temperatures drop closer to the December average, but Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rosa Hoff says it won't last long.
"Unfortunately temperatures pick up again from Friday onwards; come Sunday we will expect it to be as hot as it is today and then a chance of proper reprieve from Tuesday onwards," she said.
Ms Hoff said a southerly change is the reason for the brief relief while the chance of showers and thunderstorm activity will increase in the southeast today due to an inland trough.
The extreme heat prompted warnings from both the Queensland Fire Emergency Services and Queensland Ambulance Service with QFES Commisioner Greg Leach warning of the danger of fires starting in the hot conditions.
"Fires that start under these conditions will be fast-moving and difficult to control," Mr Leach said.
"Local fire bans have been imposed in multiple areas in the southeast between the Gold Coast and Bundaberg, and in the Whitsundays in North Queensland to reduce the risk of fires starting and spreading."
Queensland Ambulance Service said it had had no significant increase in workload, but the very young, the elderly and those with complex medical conditions needed to be extra careful in the hot conditions.
While most were staying indoors or cooling off in the water, a man in his 20s was hiking up Mount Barney in the Scenic Rim for several hours yesterday before requiring a rescue helicopter.
The man in his 20s suffered from dehydration and was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital II in a stable condition.
Gold Coast mother Chloe Matterson said she and her three-year-old son Carter stayed cool by spending time by the ocean.
"We make the most of these beautiful days and head down to the beach to soak up the sun and cool off in the ocean," she said.
"I make sure we have an umbrella to have a break from the sun, I pack an Esky full of food and make sure we have lots of sunscreen."
"Carter is obsessed with the beach, he packs all of his trucks and cars for a day of playing in the sand and building sand castles."
YESTERDAY'S NEW RECORDS FOR HOTTEST DECEMBER AFTERNOON
Dalby: 42.1C (previously 41.4C on December 29, 2013)
Warwick: 40.8 (previously 40.4 on December 29, 2013)
Applethorpe: 37.5 (previously 36.8 on December 24, 1972)
Originally published as Brief relief before heatwave back with a vengeance