38.1C! What a scorcher

Chrystelle Tiumalu (left), 9, and Mia Amiga, 4, both of Redbank Plains have fun inside the giant snow globe at Redbank Plaza.
Chrystelle Tiumalu (left), 9, and Mia Amiga, 4, both of Redbank Plains have fun inside the giant snow globe at Redbank Plaza. David Nielsen

IPSWICH sweltered under the summer sun yesterday as the region experienced its hottest December day for three years - with more heat expected before the New Year.

People headed to shopping centres and swimming pools to beat the heat as Amberley reached a maximum temperature of 38.1 degrees just after 2pm.

Ipswich resembled a fan-forced oven as dry west-southwesterly winds scorched the city with a hot blast, although the city was spared the forecast 41 degrees.

Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino said Ipswich could expect more hot December days than last year.

"For the last two years we've been under the La Nina weather pattern, and that has restricted the heat," he said.

"This year we will be experiencing neutral conditions so that is expected to bring more warmer days than last year."

The extreme heat came from a growing hot air mass over central Australia, forced towards Ipswich by a low-pressure trough.

Mr Domensino said today's temperatures should reach the mid-30s, with a cooler change to arrive tonight.

COOL TASTE: Jenna Eyres, 20, and Annabelle Hallyday went to Riverlink yesterday with Natasha Ceruto, 21, and daughter Charlotte Ferguson to beat the heat and enjoy an ice cream.
COOL TASTE: Jenna Eyres, 20, and Annabelle Hallyday went to Riverlink yesterday with Natasha Ceruto, 21, and daughter Charlotte Ferguson to beat the heat and enjoy an ice cream. Rob Williams

At Riverlink, Natasha Ceruto, 21, Jenna Eyres, 20, and youngsters Charlotte Ferguson and Annabelle Hallyday, cooled down in the air-conditioning with an ice cream.

Meanwhile, at Redbank Plaza, kids sought refuge in a large snow globe put up in the shopping centre this week.

The heat strained south-east Queensland's power supply, with electricity usage listed as "extreme" by Energex.

The south-east of the state used 4377 kW yesterday, compared to the average summer daily use of 3700 kW.

A Stanwell spokesman said the gas-powered Swanbank E power station was operating at 75% capacity yesterday, 15% more than its usual daily load.

Five people were treated for heat-related symptoms at Ipswich Hospital, but no one was admitted.

A West Moreton Hospital and Health Service spokesman said they were treated for headaches and dehydration. No one reported to any other regional hospitals with heat-related illnesses.

Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey urged residents to drink plenty of water, wear light loose clothing if working outdoors, as well as sunscreen and a hat.

WHAT A SCORCHER

  • 4.40am: 21 degrees
  • 9.30am: 31 degrees
  • 12.30pm: 35.9 degrees
  • 1pm: 37.4 degrees
  • 2.16pm: 38.1 degrees
  • 5pm: 34.8 degrees