Record-breakingly hot, in fact. The central Queensland town of Birdsville, population 200-ish, has the dubious honour of being forecast its hottest ever February day. Forecaster Vinord Annand told the ABC:
“It’ll be 46 there from tomorrow to Sunday. We’re expecting top temperatures around 47-48 degrees next week, so that would be the hottest February on record.
The average max for February in Birdsville is 38, so that’ll be 10 degrees above average.“
For context, the 2015 heatwave that killed hundreds in India got to about 48C, at which point, according to medical experts, protein cells in the human body start to “boil like egg whites“. Oh! Good!
Brisbane’s going to continue cooking for the next little while as well, with maximums around 33C all next week.
Daily minimums in much of southern Queensland were the highest on record this January, which explains why everyone is so grouchy at the moment. Brissy hit its warmest ever January night minimum on January 21, at a stifling 28C.
And if you’re starting to hallucinate from sleep deprivation because every time you feel even the slightest suggestion of a sheet coming into contact with your flesh you stir from your shallow, feverish dreams to howl in sweaty anguish, I’m sorry to say that the hot nights aren’t going anywhere soon.
Annand explained to the ABC that a stubborn low pressure trough in the middle of Australia is sucking down the hot air from the top end like some kind of Satanic vacuum cleaner.
“We just need a big high in the Tasman Sea to break this trough. We do have frontal systems moving over Victoria, we just need this system to move further north and break this stagnant weather pattern we have.
It’s not happening this week, at least until Wednesday next week it looks like the pattern holds. Beyond that, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Wait and see, Vinord? Wait and see? Did we learn nothing from that well known documentary Black Books?
CSIRO needs to get onto that statewide aircon bubble, stat, or no amount of heat-be-gone booties will save us from our descent into summer-induced savagery.