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Severe Fire Dangers | Hot, Dry & Windy Conditions

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Image Credit: Bureau of Meteorology 

Meteorologist David Crock said the south east will be hot, dry and windy throughout Monday.  

A Fire Weather Warning for 'Severe Fire Dangers' is current for districts in southern and eastern parts of Queensland, including the Capricornia, Central Highlands and Coalfields, Darling Downs and Granite Belt, Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast forecast districts.

He explained that "It's another repeat of the typical fire weather pattern that we've seen four or five times now over the fire season, starting way back in September and happening almost every month since then".  

Mr Crock said "That combination of hot, dry and windy weather is the worst fire weather that we see so the fire agencies and the firefighters are certainly up against it today [Monday]".  

He went on to say that "Over the next few days, the winds do die off a bit so the fire dangers aren't quite as bad in that sense, but it is still very hot and very dry".  

In North Queensland, "We're seeing quite a stagnant air mass that's really heating up and so we're seeing some really hot temperatures in Far North Queensland and extending down the coast and all the way to Rockhampton so that hot air mass will linger, really over much of Queensland for the next few days".  

"Centres along the east tropical coast will see temperatures very much in the high 30's today [Monday] and for the next several days; that includes Cooktown, Cairns, Townsville [and] all the way down to Rockhampton and Mackay as well.

But Mr Crock said these conditions wouldn't be as severe, or as hot, as what we saw late in 2018.  At that time, the mercury soared into the 40's, but he said it won't reach that high this time around.  

Towards the end of the week, he said we will see the heat push south into south east Queensland, "So by the time we get to Friday, we will see temperatures around 40/41 degrees in Ipswich, the Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Beaudesert and through Brisbane City; we'll be expecting 35, 36, 37 degrees on Friday and along the Gold and Sunshine Coasts...maybe 33, 34...maybe 35 degrees".

"So it's a gradual heating trend over the next several days in south east Queensland.

Mr Crock agreed that summer would be hotter than average, based on current forecasts.  "The climate outlook for summer suggests temperatures will...very likely to be  above average, which is pretty much what we see every month" he said.  

He said the current predictions wouldn't be severe enough to trigger 'heatwave' conditions in south east Queensland.  He added that temperatures would be hotter than average, before adding that that's pretty much been the case every year for the past ten years.

Mr Crock was unable to say just when we would see any significant rain in Queensland.  But he said the climate outlook was forecasting drier than average conditions in December and into January as well, "Beyond that it gets a bit murky".  

He said a cold front which has passed through the southern states, is largely to blame for the conditions we are seeing in Queensland this week.  He said that cold front was followed by a really dry, windy air mass.  

By Michelle Brewer