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Heatwave hits eastern Queensland as outback air mass heads towards coast

Friday December 6, 2019 - 17:58 EDT

A heatwave is gripping eastern Queensland, where some communities will sweat through temperatures up to 12 degrees Celsius above average today and tomorrow.

A hot and very dry air mass is coming in strong from the outback, which is unusual for this time of year.

A large chunk of the state is experiencing a low-intensity heatwave, however parts of south-east Queensland will endure severe conditions.

But Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Jess Gardner said when it came to the temperature they were "not expecting any records to be broken at this stage".

"There is a chance we could see some records broken for how long a run of hot temperatures we've had but we would have to look at that after the event," she said.

The temperature has already surpassed its forecast temperature of 36 degrees, with 38.6 recorded at 12:56pm.

Ipswich is also on track to get to 41C and 43C tomorrow, about 10C over — 41.8C was recorded at 2:11pm.

Laidley and Gatton are also due to be above 40C today.

Severe fire danger is forecast for the South East Coast, Darling Downs and Granite Belt, and Wide Bay and Burnett Districts today and is likely for tomorrow as well.

"It's looking like conditions are going to be very challenging in the coming days," Ms Gardner said.

"We will see a bit of relief on Sunday with cooler temperatures and higher humidity but we're not expecting any significant rainfall for the next week or so."

Owner of outdoor Chambers Cafe in Ipswich Cheryl Norton said the heat had already been "pretty nasty" this week and they were not looking forward to Friday.

"It's difficult, it's hot, it makes your brain hurt," she said from behind the hot box.

"We've made so many more ice lattes than usual, they're running out the door.

"It's too hot for coffee!"

BOM forecaster David Crock said while it was not uncommon to have heatwaves at this time of year, the strength of the westerly flow was unusual.

"It's a bit more typical of a winter pattern that we see particularly around August — around the time of the Ekka," he said.

"The difference now of course is that it's December so the atmosphere is a lot hotter, the continent is a lot hotter, the days are longer so we can get much more heat in those westerlies.

"It is quite an unusual pattern for this time of year … and for them to be persisting with so many hot days in a row."

Concerns residents will be out of water for weeks

In the Moreton Bay region, residents of Dayboro, Samford and Ocean View are concerned the water will run out.

While the region has not been drought declared, dry conditions are affecting water supply in some communities.

Residents who rely on tank water have been getting their supplies trucked in by water carriers but have also been filling up at a number of free water refill stations across the region since September.

Samford resident Mark Liessi said he needs to fill up his 1,000 litre water tank weekly, on top of getting a 13,000 truck carrier of water to his property every three weeks, to get enough water for his family of five.

Likewise, 78-year-old Les Brodie is a hobby farmer at Ocean View and is in desperate need of water for his five cattle.

"I've only just started filling up this week because my dam's gone dry and the few cattle I have need water," he said.

Mr Brodie and his wife live off tank water and say their drinking supply will only last another month.

"The water carriers are so booked now that if you run out of water and ring them up there's at least a three-week wait — some are saying five or more weeks wait."


© ABC 2019

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