Mercury soars as heatwave set to hit 41C
A SEVERE heatwave warning has been issued for southeast Queensland, with temperatures forecast to soar 10C above average this week.
The mercury is tipped to peak at 36C in Brisbane and 39C in Ipswich
The summer of extremes has produced a rare sight for Winton in the state's central west - the Outback town that's usually barren and drought-stricken has turned a luscious green for the first time in years, prompting shire leaders to roll out the welcome mat for tourists.
The sheep and cattle region copped 210mm of rain last month, which broke the drought but devastated herds.
Winton Shire Council Mayor Gavin Baskett said the area was probably the greenest place in the country.
"We would love some people to come out and have a look at it," he said.
"We need tourists to come and visit because our economy is going to struggle a bit now, with most of our graziers losing up to 90 per cent of their stock." Mr Baskett said farmers in the area would still welcome a further 25-50mm.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe heatwave warning for southeast Queensland and much of the state.
Winton will swelter through a top of 41C this week, while temperatures aren't expected to dip below 30C in Brisbane.
"We've got temperatures 8C-10C above average forecast," a weather bureau spokesman said.
"Northwesterly winds are bringing hot air to the southeast and are expected to stick around for most of the week."
Today is expected to be the hottest of the week, with a scorching 36C expected for Brisbane.
"The peak of the heat will most likely pass by Monday next week, but it will be relatively warm next week too," the spokesman said.
Isolated thunderstorms and showers will follow the heat throughout the week, with the most severe storms expected on Friday.
The bureau has also issued extreme UV indexes of more than 11.