North west Queensland cools off as Australia survives a record breaking heatwave

ESCAPING THE HEAT: Casey Skerman, 11, TJ Tapu, 12, Connor Apogremiotis, 11, Ethan Simpson, 12, and Ethan Apogremiotis, 12, at the Family Fun Park. Photo: Chris Burns.

ESCAPING THE HEAT: Casey Skerman, 11, TJ Tapu, 12, Connor Apogremiotis, 11, Ethan Simpson, 12, and Ethan Apogremiotis, 12, at the Family Fun Park. Photo: Chris Burns.

While thongs fused to bitumen in NSW and eggs fried on car bonnets in Birdsville, most of north west Queensland dealt with the business of summer as usual.

In the midst of a dramatic heat wave affecting much of Australia last week, the sunniest of states was left to cool off as usual, anyway it could.

With eastern parts of the state breaking multiple heat records, temperatures in the north west hung around the mid to late 30s, just a couple of degrees above average temperatures for February.

A warning was issued last week by Queensland Police on Facebook urging people to cancel outdoor activities such as bush walking and mountain climbing.

"You're putting us, firies and the SES at risk if we have to rescue you in these extreme conditions," they said.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology the heatwave is now ‘over’, not affecting Northern Queensland a mite.

“The hottest days have come and gone. Now it’s not exactly going to be below average temperatures, but it’s not quite as warm as we’ve been experiencing,” said Michael Knepp from BOM.

“In the north west itself temperatures will be average this week, in the mid 30s, so not much abnormal heat in that part of the state,” said Mr Knepp.

Not all of Queensland got off so lightly though, in Birdsville temperatures surged into the 40s for an 18 day straight, breaking records without a sweat.

Queensland Police tweeted a video of an officer frying an egg on the bonnet of his car, as a new record of 46.2C was set.

In more weather news, hints of a tropical cyclone forming from a low in the Gulf of Carpentaria may also miss the north west region.

Despite recent rain this week, the bureau says it’s unlikely we will experience any potential cyclone activity.

“There is a low potentially forming over the Northern Territory, which may bring an increasing chance of rain to the north west, particularly the gulf country towards Mornington Island,” said Mr Knepp.  

While the rain might not make it as far south as Mount Isa, intermittent showers are expected this week nonetheless.

For now, let us inland dwellers raise a glass of icy water to Willis Carrier, inventor of air conditioning units.

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