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Heatwave 'just another day' in one of Australia's hottest towns

Anthony Sharwood, Friday November 27, 2020 - 12:29 EDT

With a late-spring heatwave set to impact large parts of Australia during the next week, consider yourself lucky you're not working outdoors in one of the hottest little towns in the country.

Bedourie, a tiny map speck of 140 people in the Channel Country of far west Queensland, is famous for giving the world an iconic piece of steel cookware – the Bedourie Camp Oven.

But throughout November, the town itself has been more like a camp oven.

Bedourie's average maximum for November to date has been 39.7 degrees, which makes it among the hottest towns in Australia for the month.

Many of those days have seen temperatures peak in the mid-40s, while only five days have reached less than 39 degrees.

Yet Bedourie is set to heat up even more over the next five days, with forecast maximum temperatures of 45, 44, 43, 45 and 45.

Image: Beautiful one day, scorching the next. Source: Bedourie Hotel Facebook page.

By next Wednesday, things will finally cool off a little and it'll only be 40 degrees. Phew! But then the upwards trend starts again.

Not that the hot spell bothers locals like Jade Smith who works at the Royal Hotel and has lived in the area most of her life

"We’re used to it," she told Weatherzone, describing the impending run of mid-40s temps as "just like any other day".

Smith said that life goes on as normal in the Simpson Desert town located roughly two hours north of Birdsville. Road crews are out pegging roads in temperatures hot enough to melt tar, and there's even a team of concreters in town doing up the local skate park.

Image: One of the loveliest little rest stops between Birdsville and Boulia. OK, the only one. Source: Google Maps.

As for the local pub, business has been nothing out of the ordinary of late.

While there will likely be a rush on pubs in Sydney this weekend as temperatures climb into the low 40s in large parts of the city, in Bedourie, beer o'clock is still beer o'clock.

"We can go all day without a customer until 4:30 or 5 in the afternoon," Smith told us.

Even if locals are used to the heat, we bet that first beer still tastes good.

Meanwhile, Oodnadatta in South Australia (which holds the record for Australia's highest recorded temperature of 50.7, and whose location is shown in the map above) is likely to be Australia's hottest town on Saturday, with a maximum of 47 forecast.

But it should cool off a little into the high 30s by Sunday and the maximum should dip as "low" as 28 next Wednesday. In Bedourie they'd just about call that a cold snap.

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