Ipswich to swelter in heatwave

IF extreme heat is not your thing then it's time to crank up the air-con, head to the pool or the beach or better still, go on holiday.

That's because Ipswich and surrounding towns are about to bear the brunt of heatwave conditions over the coming days.

What makes matters worse is the system is set to move from a low-intensity rating to severe.

The Bureau of Meteorology's heatwave service website shows the peak of these conditions will be on Friday with a blistering 41C forecast; 10 degrees above the December average of 31C.

Residents in Gatton and Laidley will also swelter through the 41C mark and 40C is forecast for Boonah and Esk.

Fortunately it's a few degrees shy of the highest ever recorded temperature for Ipswich in December, which was 44C on Christmas Day, 1972.

Bureau forecaster James Thompson says the source of this heat is an approaching trough.

"We have a stable upper atmosphere combining with an approaching trough and this system is allowing the hot air that's inland to be drawn towards the southeast coast of Queensland by Friday," he said.

"So we're looking at very humid conditions becoming very hot by Friday."

Today in Ipswich will be 33C.

Conditions will start to turn tomorrow with 36C expected for the city. Boonah and Esk will be 1C warmer and Gatton and Laidley will see highs of 38C.

Saturday will also be hot, but thankfully some 7C cooler than Friday's scorcher.

There might be some relief from the heat on Friday with the chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoons and evenings.

The best chance for decent rainfall will be on Saturday with totals between 2-15mm.

The good news is relief will come on Sunday with the end of the heatwave.

The mercury will cool down to 29C with similar conditions on Monday.