Sascha Riggs, 8, beat the heat at Laidley Swimming Pool as temps soared at the weekend.
Sascha Riggs, 8, beat the heat at Laidley Swimming Pool as temps soared at the weekend. Francis Witsenhuysen

Lockyer in grip of severe weather event

THE Lockyer Valley is riding out a roller-coaster of see-sawing temperatures this month.

Temperatures have swung from as low as 10 degrees below average at the start of February to about 10 degrees above average this week.

In what the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has described as "prolonged severe to extreme heatwave conditions”, Gatton was set to experience temperatures in the 40s some days this week.

Associated thunderstorms are likely to provide only temporary relief from the heat.

Meteorologist Grace Legge said the increase in humidity would exacerbate the already uncomfortable conditions.

"These conditions are due to a static weather pattern, which is allowing hot air to remain throughout the week,” she said.

A maximum of 41C and minimum of 21C with the chance of gusty to severe thunderstorms was forecast for today and temperatures were expected to remain in the high-30s into next week.

According to the BoM, this is the most significant and widespread heatwave to hit Queensland this summer.

Severe heatwaves are fairly infrequent, while those rated as extreme are the rarest kind and can affect infrastructure like power and transport and pose a health risk, particularly for those working or exercising outdoors.

Identifying heat stress

A Queensland Health spokesman said heat-related illness could be incredibly serious and even life-threatening.

"Symptoms can vary from person to person, but if someone you know is exhibiting symptoms such as an elevated body temperature, flushed dry skin, a rapid pulse, headache, disorientation or loss of consciousness, they might be suffering from a heat-related illness and you should call triple zero immediately.”

Keeping cool

Drink plenty of fluids, preferably cool water, regularly - don't wait until you're thirsty.

Stay indoors when possible, preferably in a building with airconditioning or good air flow.

Limit strenuous outdoor activity.

Stay cool by taking cool showers, soaking feet in water or wearing a wet bandana or washer around your neck.