Mercury hits 40C as heatwave tightens grip

Courtney Haynes and her daughter Ruby, 11 months, at Bundamba Swim Centre. Picture: Nigel HallettSource:News Corp Australia



PARTS of southern Queensland have hit the 40C mark as heatwave conditions persist across the state.



The mercury in southwest border town St George reached 40.7C at 10.30am.


Brisbane was sitting at 31.7 as of 12.40pm, but it was considerably cooler toward the coast, with Coolangatta on 26.5C and Sunshine Coast Airport at 28.1C.


At 1pm Amberley Airbase to Brisbane’s southwest was 36.6C but felt like a scorching 38.9C, while Beaudesert was 34.8C but felt like 37.7C.


The Bureau of Meteorology said temperatures around the southeast would remain above-average tomorrow, with a forecast high in Brisbane of 33C, followed by a reprieve on Thursday and Friday.


An elevated fire danger would remain in place across the southeast.


A bureau spokeswoman said a trough would move into the southeast by Thursday, bringing a moderate to high chance of rainfall of about 1-2mm, clearing throughout Friday.


Strong northerly winds of 25 to 30 knots are forecast for tomorrow on the Sunshine and Gold coasts, as well as Moreton Bay, which would turn southerly but remain strong by Friday.



Queensland Ambulance Service director of clinical quality and patient safety Tony Hucker said paramedics would be on “high alert” for vulnerable members of the community, such as the elderly, children, pets and those who are sick.


“Heat stress or heat exhaustion is easily treatable,” he said, urging rest for the person affected, cooling them off and getting their fluids up.


“Heat stroke is very dangerous. This is at the end point of the heat-related illness spectrum, and it’s dangerous – fundamentally, your organs start breaking down and you can die. So it’s so important not to let people get to that level of illness.”


Mr Hucker said it was not acceptable under any circumstances for parents to leave a child or pet in the car, as things can turn tragic in a matter of minutes. In extreme heat the temperature in a car can climb to 50C.


“It only takes minutes for the temperature to rise inside a car to fatal proportions, where we can see really quite horrible outcomes for kids,” he said.



The QAS is urging people to look after themselves and be sensible in the hot weather so their services aren’t required.


“We’re busy, we see 3500 patients a day and once we start seeing temperatures go up we can see that workload go up by a factor of 100, in some cases even more. It’s really important people look out for themselves, avoid the hottest part of the day, stay out of the sun, wear loose-fitted clothing, keep water close by and just try and take it easy on these really hot days,” he said.


The QAS will also be on high alert for heat-related illnesses during Melbourne Cup festivities.


“Alcohol, hot sun and having fun is a dangerous combination so it’s all in moderation,” Mr Hucker said.


“In among the drinking of champagne, drink lots of water and if you’re out in the sun, minimise the amount of alcohol and increase the amount of water and you should be OK.”





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