South-East Queensland's hot weather breaks records as temperatures hit the 40s
Photo: Westerly winds are bringing the hot conditions to the south-east. (ABC News: Shelley Lloyd)
South-East Queensland is having a scorcher with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) saying several records have been broken for the first month of summer.
Brisbane had been expected to hit 39 degrees Celsius, but the CBD hit 41.2C at 1:40pm, equalling the city's hottest December day on record originally set in 1981.
Archerfield in Brisbane's south-west matched the CBD with a top of 41.2C, setting a new December record for that suburb.
Train services across the region are delayed with TransLink enacting speed restrictions due to the extreme heat.
West of Brisbane, Amberley hit 43.1C at 1:39pm, while it reached 43C in Laidley and 42C in Esk.
BOM forecaster Kimba Wong said several temperature records had been broken.
"Particularly at Gatton, which has reached a maximum of 43.2C," she said.
Gatton's previous maximum, 42.6C, was only set last week.
Records were also broken at Oakey, which reached the record maximum of 40.7C, breaking the previous December record of 40.3C.
Forecaster Lauren Pattie said December records were also broken on the Sunshine Coast at Beerburrum, which hit 41.6C, and at Nambour, which reached 40.8C.
"We do expect to see a little bit of a reprieve around the south-east quarter, as a south-easterly change moves through — currently it's sitting around Coolangatta at the moment … but it's still warm and it's still very hot for the interior of the state," Ms Pattie said.
But she said the places recording the state's hottest weather did not break records.
"The hottest places are out in the west — Urandangi and Birdsville are the winners for today — 44.8C and 44.6C respectively."
RSPCA battling hot dogs
Ipswich RSPCA animal attendant Jalissa Bradshaw said the shelter would go through ten bags of ice to keep around 30 dogs cool.
"Dogs would probably feel the heat a lot more than we would, so we've just got to work on keeping them cool," she said.
"We give them a lot of towels, frozen water bottles, we put a lot of ice in their water and in their kennels so they can lay on it."
Ms Bradshaw said pet owners should make sure their animals are kept cool with plenty of water on hot days.
"Make sure if you can you put them in the aircon, but if not just give them lots of water and shade to make sure they're cool."
Ipswich resident Adam John Cooper and his family spent the day celebrating his daughter Charlotte Rose's third birthday at a waterpark.
"It's keeping us nice and cool," he said.
"We're all having a good day eating lollies, cake and having a barbecue and she's pretty chuffed about it."
Extreme fire risk
Dry, hot weather will mean extreme fire danger for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt today.
A severe fire danger is forecast for Central Highlands, Coalfields, South-East Coast, Wide Bay and Burnett districts.
Queensland Rural Fire Service Acting Regional Manager Tim Chittenden said extra crews had been rostered on the Darling Downs and Granite Belt.
"The challenge for our crews is simply the conditions to work in today, they will be very tiring … and we will have additional resources going to each incident just to ensure the crews will have a rest and not wear themselves out," he said.
"We've also got a number of our command centres that will be staffed today and will make sure that everyone is focused on the bushfire response should a fire start."
He said authorities were monitoring a number of bushfires that continue to burn.
"We're working with Queensland Parks and Wildlife on a fire at Kumbarilla which is south-west of Dalby and that has potential to become much larger today."
He said conditions today were on par with those during bushfires in Queensland earlier this year.
"The fortunate thing for us is it's a one day peak so tomorrow we return to very high fire danger. In normal years we'd be quite worried but this year 'very high' [fire danger] seems to be a day we get a break which almost becomes a bit comical for us unfortunately."
Longreach resident Quenton Scott said temperatures above 40C were pretty typical for Western Queensland in summer.
"It's pretty normal for us out here — we have two, three weeks in the 40s every year at this time in December," he said.
"When they carry on down there about all this heat — like the visitors that come here, they come here in the winter time — it gets to 28 degrees and they've all gone. Too bloody hot for them.
"We're all hoping this heat brings on some storms."
'Stay indoors when possible'
Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Tony Hucker said it had received 20 heat-related calls across the state.
Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said people need to pay attention to their health.
"Drink plenty of fluids, preferably cool water, regularly throughout the day — don't wait until you're thirsty," she said.
"Stay indoors when possible, preferably in a building with air conditioning or good air flow, and limit strenuous outdoor activity.
"We have a heatwave gripping large parts of the state," she said.
"Experts have advised severe heatwave conditions across the central and south-eastern interior of the state over the next couple of days."