Cooler start to week after record heat fuels fires across south-east
Brisbane was predicted to hit a top of 30 degrees while Ipswich was expected to reach about 34 degrees on Wednesday.
Weather bureau meteorologist David Crock said the conditions would continue to be milder for the next few days, although they were still warm summer temperatures.
“Later in the week it will still be warm but we should see some storms develop, mostly inland on Wednesday but Thursday and Friday look particularly good for a storm in south-east Queensland,” he said.
The Cunningham Highway was blocked again over the weekend due to a vegetation fire, while one house and one shed were destroyed in a sudden blaze at Bundamba that also claimed a storage shed full of fireworks destined for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Employees of the company told Nine News they ran for their lives after trying to prevent the container catching alight.
“We were blocked in, there was nowhere to go, it was like something you see out of a movie,” one employee told Nine News.
Sunday’s cooler temperatures followed a long heatwave in which December records were broken across the Scenic Rim, Ipswich and Archerfield.
The Lockyer Valley town of Gatton climbed to 42.6 degrees on Saturday, beating the previous record of 42 degrees in 2002 and making it the hottest December day during 54 years of records.
The cooler change, including some cloud cover on Sunday, also brought with it a return of the smoky conditions which plagued the south-east a few weeks ago, and which are currently also troubling areas around Sydney.
Mr Crock said the air quality may improve later in the week as storms as on-shore breezes blew some of the haze away.
“It’ll be pretty smoky on Monday but hopefully that should ease later in the week with an on-shore flow bringing some clearer air from the north,” he said.
-with Lucy Stone
Stuart Layt covers health, science and technology for the Brisbane Times. He was formerly the Queensland political reporter for AAP.