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Heatwave to bring ‘three or four days’ of 40-degree heat to SEQ

While Brisbane itself is only tipped to reach a top of 34 degrees on Wednesday, Ipswich to the west is forecast to swelter through a 41 degree day – after not dropping below 38 degrees from Sunday.

Wednesday is also expected to see the mercury hit 44 degrees in the Lockyer Valley towns of Gatton and Laidley, with tops of 35 along the Sunshine Coast.

But the heat will first be felt more keenly further west. The Channel Country, Maranoa and Warrego regions are likely to reach the mid-to-high 40s, while Birdsville could experience “a few days” at about 45 degrees from Friday.

Overnight temperatures will also bring little reprieve, remaining above or about 30 degrees across the weekend.

“And some of that over hot overnight air is also going to move into south eastern parts of Queensland,” Mr Narramore said.

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Minimum temperatures in Brisbane will drop to only 23 degrees on Tuesday.

The heatwave will be the second to descend on the state this spring, with the first a fortnight ago bringing temperatures in the south-east close to 40 degrees.

Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Lachlan Parker urged residents to not be complacent about the risks of heat-related illness: “If we have several days of high temperature, the body is unable to reset itself”.

Despite the heat, Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre research director John Bates said wetter and more humid weather in the state across the summer meant a repeat of last year’s bushfires was less likely.

With a La Nina event expected to drive above-average rain and cyclone activity, the bureau’s head of climate operations, Andrew Watkins, said Queensland would instead see “at least” four of the tropical storms develop – and one cross the coast.

“Odds are above 80 per cent of getting above average rainfall in eastern Queensland,” Dr Watkins added.

“So that part of eastern Queensland – if we do see wet soils, high rivers and then tropical cyclones cross the coast – [has] an increased risk of widespread flooding.”

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