British backpacker Maggie Leeks cools herself in the Queens Park Fountain in Toowoomba as temperatures in the city hit 40 degrees for the first time in recorded history.
British backpacker Maggie Leeks cools herself in the Queens Park Fountain in Toowoomba as temperatures in the city hit 40 degrees for the first time in recorded history. David Martinelli, News Corp Australia

COOKED: The day Queensland was hotter than the Sahara

IT WAS hotter than the Sahara Desert in parts of Queensland over the weekend as the record-breaking heatwave took its toll.

Paramedics treated more than 90 people for heat-related incidents, including a four-year-old boy who was left locked in a hot car.

Searing temperatures scorched towns from Birdsville to Brisbane and north to Hughenden, breaking 17 temperature records along the way.
 

It was so hot in Brisbane yesterday even passenger trains were forced to travel at reduced speeds due to tracks expanding in the excessive heat.

The blistering temperatures saw Thargomindah become Queensland's hottest spot, where residents sweated through a 47.2C day - Queensland's hottest ever February day.

Residents of the Darling Downs were also hit with their hottest day ever as Gatton (45.7C), Oakey (42.8C), Toowoomba (40.8C) and Kingaroy (41.6C) smashed their maximum temperatures.

It was the first time Toowoomba reached 40C in more than 50 years.
 

The hottest day on Queensland's calendar came at a convenient time for energy providers, however, who said demand for electricity would have been far higher had the heatwave hit during the week.

Energex spokesman Glen Kolpak said Sundays typically had far less energy demand, but yesterday was "unusually high".

"Because it was a Sunday, we didn't have any of the commercial, industrial and educational loads on the network," he said.

"There is the possibility that had this heat been during the week, we might have seen record demand.

"It was quite high for a Sunday."

At 5pm, southeast Queenslanders were using 4576 MW of electricity, which Mr Kolpak said was relatively high.

While many chose to stay indoors, thousands braved the heat to watch the final day of the Global Rugby Tens at Suncorp Stadium.

Many sought to watch the games from the shade because the mercury in the middle of the stadium recorded a top temperature of 38C.

There is some small reprieve in sight, with southeast Queensland's sunburnt, dry lawns expected to receive some much needed rain today, with possibly severe thunderstorms expected later this afternoon.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Dean Narramore said after sweating through a hot night last night, southeast Queenslanders could expect some slight relief from the conditions today.

"It will be noticeably cooler along the coast, but still quite humid," he said. "There is a severe fire weather warning in place for the Darling Downs and expected showers and possibly severe thunderstorms in the southeast later (today)."
 

News Corp Australia


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