BRISBANE • Birdsville is an Australian outback town in Queensland that is used to hot weather, but the current heatwave is unusual even for its 115 residents.
Daily temperatures in Birdsville have hit 43 deg C or higher since Australia Day on Jan 26, reported the Brisbane Times, and even reached a high of 46 deg C on Tuesday.
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Brett Harrison said that Birdsville's temperatures have been "well above" average for at least a couple of weeks.
Senior constable Stephan Pursell, the officer-in-charge at Birdsville Police Station, said that staying indoors was the best way to cope with the heat.
"It's 24 degrees in air conditioning inside and 44 outside. It's not a hard choice," he said.
The senior constable said that once the mercury climbs past 42 deg C, it all feels the same.
GRIN AND BEAR IT
Council workers are still out fixing roads, kids are still going to school, the police are still running around.
SENIOR CONSTABLE STEPHAN PURSELL, on the extreme heat in the town of Birdsville.
"Whatever you can cope with at 42 (degrees), you can cope with at 46," he said.
"Council workers are still out fixing roads, kids are still going to school, the police are still running around."
He added with a laugh: "You do the essential moving around - from home to the pub, for example."
While the south-east corner of Queensland may not be as hot as Birdsville, residents on the coast and inland centres can still expect temperatures to soar up to eight degrees above the average over the weekend, with "heatwave conditions" expected.
Mr Harrison told the Brisbane Times that inland centres like Ipswich and Gatton are forecast to reach some of the hottest temperatures for the region, particularly over the weekend.
"We're expecting temperatures to reach the high 30s for Saturday and reach over 40 degrees on Sunday," he said.
Relief is in sight for south-east Queensland by Monday afternoon.
Mr Harrison said that temperatures are forecast to return to average - or slightly below - by Tuesday, helped by south-easterly winds.
For Birdsville, however, there is no certain end to the heat.
"For the next couple of days, 45 or 46 (degrees) is on the forecast," Mr Harrison said.
"And we're looking at that to continue at least through until the end of the weekend."