Australia Day set to be a scorcher

Bitumen is melting in the far west as records tumble


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A big hat, plenty of cold beverages and a body of water will be necessary this Australia Day.

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BITUMEN BEGAN TO MELT: Boulia experinced extreme heat on Tuesday, recording the bitumen temperature at 68 degrees.

BITUMEN BEGAN TO MELT: Boulia experinced extreme heat on Tuesday, recording the bitumen temperature at 68 degrees.

Whatever your plans this Australia Day, we suggest it includes a big hat, plenty of cold beverages and a body of water because high temperatures will be sticking around for the festivities across much of the state.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster, Kimba Wong, said western Queensland would fare the worst with Birdsville set to reach 46 degrees on Saturday. 

“We’re expecting those quite hot temperatures to continue through the weekend, but then relax back into about average temperatures from Monday,” she said.

“Coming into the weekend, the Channel Country has a slight chance of some showers and thunderstorms, but mostly just gusty thunderstorms expected with not too much precipitation.”

The run of hot weather seen in the state’s central west is expected to continue, with the likes of Longreach and Cloncurry hitting 40 degrees on Australia Day. 

“We have had a pretty long streak of hot temperatures at Cloncurry,” Ms Wong said.

“It’s been 39 days in a row we’ve had over 40 degrees in Cloncurry as of today, and we’re still expecting that to continue with 40 degrees on Saturday and then probably dropping down to 39 on Sunday.”

Places like Roma and Charleville can also expect to hit the big 40 on Saturday, with no relief in sight until Wednesday. 

Residents in that state’s far west will be hoping for a cool change soon, after the Boulia Shire Council experienced melting bitumen on Tuesday.

Director of Works and Operations at Boulia Shire Council, Harin Karra, said he was at the workshop when he noticed the smell of melting bitumen.

“I quickly checked the temperature on the road right in front of me. The temperature gauge registered 68 degrees,” he said.

While Mr Karra took the road temperature at 2pm he also took the outside temperature which registered at a whopping 47 degrees.

“I reckon you could not only cook eggs out there, but sausages and steak as well.” 

Last year Boulia broke a 122-year-old record for the hottest overnight mean temperature of 24.9 degrees celsius for the month of April.

Recently, Cloncurry and Camooweal broke the state record for the highest number of consecutive days where the maximum temperature reached 40 degrees or higher.

Meanwhile, Birdsville broke the Queensland record for the highest number of consecutive days of 45 degrees or more, which previously stood at six.

The town had already sweated through six days where the mercury tipped the 45-degree mark and at 1.30pm last Friday, it reached 45 again to make it seven days straight.

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