It’s only the fourth day of the month but temperature records for March have been broken in central and northern Queensland, with little reprieve in sight from the extreme heatwave conditions.
- After days-long heatwave conditions, March temperature records have now tumbled in some parts
- Other areas are 10 degrees Celsius above average
- It’s expected that some areas could cool down by mid-next week
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Laura Boekel said much of the region was seeing temperatures well above average, for both the minimum and maximum temperatures.
“For example, Innisfail and Cairns is looking to be 36 degrees Celsius today, where their March average is 30.5C. So pretty significantly above average,” Ms Boekel said.
Several temperature records have also been tumbled.
“Yesterday, Emerald got to 42.1C, which broke their March record… Mackay airport on the central coast [got to] 34.7C, also breaking a record. ”
BOM forecaster Brooke Pagel said the warmer temperatures would be sticking around.
Ms Pagel said Thursday’s top in Rockhampton was 11C above average. The city reached 41C while the average for March is about 30C.
“These conditions are expected to stick around well into next week, so any reprieve unfortunately is a long way away” she said.
“The whole area that is currently under the heatwave conditions, it will slowly extend a little bit west as well as the week goes on.
“We do have showers though on the modeling [for central parts]so through the weekend there are some showers so we are hoping that cools things down, even just a little bit. ”
Ms Pagel said a big issue with heatwave conditions was the temperatures were hot overnight too, with little to no reprieve as the sun went down.
Townsville wildlife rescuer Jake Goldring said temperatures yesterday reached 42C in Charters Towers, west of the city.
“We had around 20 bird call outs yesterday… We’ve never come across something like that before” he said.
Mr Goldring said bats and birds, such as piwis and doves, were particularly susceptible to above-average temperatures.
“Yesterday was just absolutely terrible for them. They were panting a lot.”
After Cairns’ deadly heatwaves in 2018 decimated more than 20,000 flying foxes, Mr Goldring said he was extremely worried about the city’s wildlife in the days ahead.
“[In] yesterdays call-out we had a bat that had fallen due to heat stress. It [can] become quite fatal for them, “he said.
“If the heat’s that high for an extended period of time, we’re going to be seeing a higher number in the mortality rates in the flying foxes and smaller animals and birds.”