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Queensland heatwave: Brisbane spared predicted maximum temperature, Bureau of Meteorology says

Saturday January 4, 2014 - 21:15 EDT

Brisbane has been spared the full wrath of the Queensland heatwave, with temperatures today peaking just below the predicted high of 41 degrees Celsius.

The mercury reached a top of 38.7C just after 1:00pm, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Pradeep Singh said, a mark just shy of the expected peak and several degrees below the January record of 43.2C.

Cooler sea breezes worked against the hot westerlies blowing in the from the interior, Mr Singh said, keeping the temperature down.

The maximum temperature in Queensland was felt in Lochington, just outside of Emerald, where temperatures hit 45.7C.

Other areas, including Roma, Gatton and Winton, pushed well beyond the 40C mark.

Queensland's interior has been sweltering through record-breaking heat in recent days, along with parts of Central Australia and north-western New South Wales.

The heatwave continued as a Bureau of Meteorology report revealed on Friday that .

Put health first during heatwave: paramedics

Last summer, paramedics responded to more than 350 cases of heat-related illness across the state.

Steven Clarke from Queensland Ambulance says drinking plenty of water is the key.

Mr Clarke says families should ensure loved ones are coping with the heat, with the elderly particularly vulnerable.

"For the elderly and people with chronic illnesses, especially with kidney problems, diabetic problems, obese people, they need to take extra care," he said.

"Probably a critical point to make is family need to check their loved ones - grandad and grandma living on their own - they need to ring them up, they need to go around and visit them and make sure they are doing the right thing.

"Especially with the elderly. They'll lock their windows to make themselves feel safe; they live on their own. Family need to spend the time and go visit them."

2013 was hottest year on record: BoM

The  shows that in 2013, average temperatures were 1.20C above the long-term average of 21.8C, breaking the previous record set in 2005 by 0.17C.

All states and territories recorded above average temperatures in 2013, with Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia all breaking annual average temperature records.

Every month of 2013 had national average temperatures at least 0.5C above normal, according to the statement.

The country recorded its hottest day on January 7 - a month which also saw the hottest week and hottest month since records began in 1910.

A new record was set for the number of consecutive days the national average temperature exceeded 39C ?? seven days between January 2 and 8, 2013, almost doubling the previous record of four consecutive days in 1973.

The highest temperature recorded during 2013 was 49.6C at Moomba in South Australia on January 12, which was the highest temperature in Australia since 1998.

Australia has experienced just one cooler-than-average year in the last decade - 2011.

Australian temperatures have warmed approximately 1C since 1950, consistent with global climate trends


© ABC 2014

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