HEATWAVE: Sunday may shatter 65-year Ipswich record


THE maximum temperature for Ipswich on Sunday has been upgraded to 43 degrees.


THERE'S no denying this weekend is going to be a stinker with temperatures to soar into the high 30s.

But this Sunday will see Ipswich sweat through one of the hottest February days on record.

The Bureau of Meteorology has upgraded Sunday's forecast from a maximum of 41 degrees to 42 degrees.

On February 1, 65 years ago, the City of Ipswich baked through a 42.6 degree day.

If the forecasters are correct, we're likely to see a new record set for the hottest February Ipswich day since 1952.

This latest heatwave is being caused by a large mass of hot air sitting over the centre of Australia that has slowly been pushing towards the coast.

If Ipswich residents have anything to look forward to this weekend, it's the night time temperatures.

While the days will be scorching from Saturday through until Monday, peaking on Sunday, the night time temperatures over the weekend aren't expected to be as extreme.

On Saturday daytime temperatures will hit 39 degrees, but that will drop to a cool 22 degrees at night, followed by a 26 degree night on Sunday.

>>FLASHBACK: 1940s heatwave killed 50K chickens, 80 people

>>Ipswich in for hotter, drier three months 

Monday night is expected to be a little more comfortable with the minimum temperature to drop to 23 degrees, however, there is a chance of a storm which could cool things down further.

A cool air mass moving through the region will bring relief on Monday with Tuesday's maximum predicted to be a more mild 30 degrees. 

Saturday's scheduled Ipswich tennis fixtures were called off on Friday morning under Tennis Australia's playing criteria.

Queensland's big dry spell 1951 to 1954

RECORD heavy rain fell across Queensland in 1950, however, that was followed by one of the driest periods on record which started in February 1951. 

The severe dry spell caused grass and bushfires across about 6 million ha and cold winters caused one of the worst droughts in Queensland's history. 

There were heavy losses in the agricultural industries, particularly dairy with production levels falling to their lowest since 1926.

The Gladstone region, or Port Curtis, was one of the worst affected areas and the extreme conditions lasted until April 1952. 

After some relief, the extreme weather returned and by January 1954 the drought had spread from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Darling Downs and west to the border of South Australia. 

Source: Queensland Past and Present: 100 years of statistics 1896 - 1996

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