Australia Weather set to get even hotter and more humid today, BOM warns

00:59  14 february  2018
00:59  14 february  2018 Source:   ABC News

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The Bureau of Meteorology has warned Victorians to brace for the hot and humid weather over the Australia Day long weekend, with "sultry and oppressive conditions” tipped. It’s going to feel in some circumstances like we’re really not getting much relief.

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Senior forecaster Rick Threlfall said today may reach slightly warmer temperatures in the south-east, although out west it will remain much the same.

"Not a great deal of change for the west compared to yesterday," he said.

After a fast-moving storm that hit the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Ipswich last night, humid conditions can be expected again today.

Yesterday, Windorah was the hottest place in Queensland, hitting 45.5 degrees Celsius, while it reached 44.9C in Winton and 44.7C in Birdsville.

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“A very dangerous thunderstorm was detected on the weather radar near Highvale, Samford and Lake Manchester,” the BoM warning said. Other areas of the state look set to avoid any rainfall but will also endure hot and humid conditions.

Mr Threlfall said temperatures were unlikely to fall anywhere in the south-east until the weekend.

"Eastern parts of the state will cool off, but much of the interior will remain above average well into the weekend," he said.

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While Sydney sweats through another hot and humid day with a top of 38C in the city and 41C in the west The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning over the heatwave which has The BoM define a heatwave as three or more days of unusually high maximum and minimum

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He said people in the state's far north might see temperatures increase from Thursday.

"Because they've been getting sea breezes, there hasn't been too much above average. They will probably warm up on Thursday or Friday," he said.

Sleeping under the air-conditioner

Ipswich resident Catherine Bennett is 26 weeks pregnant with twins and said the heat wave had proved a challenge.

"Pregnancy basically makes you into a human incubator," she said.

"It's hardest when the temperature doesn't drop enough at night, as you can't get much relief."

She said her partner's mother had been sending news articles warning her of the dangers of dehydration and heatstroke, and had been doing everything possible to stay cool.

"At home we've resorted to sleeping in the living room as we're lucky to have air-conditioning there," she said.

"Cold showers, icy drinks and wet tea towels are the things that have been getting me through.

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"When I have to walk somewhere in the sun, I always use an umbrella — it really makes a difference.

"I've been getting lots of sympathetic comments from people but I really feel for those women further along their pregnancy than me — I hope they can hang in there!"

How to keep calm and stay cool

Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital emergency specialist Dr David Rosengren said people needed to adopt a common-sense approach to keeping cool in sweltering conditions.

"It comes down to trying to avoid putting yourself in an environment where you'll excessively heat up or be unable to lose body heat," Dr Rosengren said.

"Avoid unnecessary exercise at the peak period of the day, and make sure you have the windows open, have airflow moving through the house and continue to allow that evaporation and the movement of air across the body.

"If you have a ceiling fan or a pedestal fan ... then that's by far the most effective way to avoid being excessively hot."

He also urged people to stay hydrated while also cautioning against excessive alcohol consumption.

Dr Rosengren says elderly people are among the most vulnerable to heat-related illness, especially those living alone.

"They're worried about security so they have all the doors and the windows closed and they're worried about the cost of electricity so they don't turn the air-conditioning on," he said.

"It's a bit like being in an oven and they can very rapidly and quite profoundly get affected by the heat and become unwell.

"Tragically we have lives lost during heat season and that's the commonest underlying cause."

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