The current heat wave over the Maranoa and Warrego districts of Inland QLD reached a peak last Saturday 3rd December. Both St. George and Roma had maximum temperatures just over 44 degrees and this was very close to the record December heat for both towns which was 44.6 on Black Wednesday, 3rd of December 1913. Other very hot days for late November or early December for both towns were in 1926 1951, 1952, 1981, 1996, 2006 and 2009. Only 1952 and 1996 followed a very wet winter and very wet September which happened also this year. The other five episodes led to hot conditions for most of December into early January in our regions and there were some thunderstorms close to Christmas and early January.
Cunnamulla recorded it's hottest day for early December with 44.3 since the record 46.0 in December of 1979 and once again there was hot weather the latter half of December of 1979 before heavy rain and thunderstorms early January of 1980.
The very hot conditions in this region of QLD had been building up since about 20th November and some of this heat extended into far north of NSW with Walgett recording 44 and Moree 42. Following one of the coldest and wettest Septembers on record and then a warmer than normal November at Charleville, Roma and St. George this resulted in a big increase of over 10 degrees in monthly maxima from September to November. This also happened previously in 1909, 1920, 1935, 1958 and 1993 at these places . The summers following those episodes were somewhat wetter than average at most places in our regions and the summer a little warmer on the whole due to January being hotter .
It appears that during the hottest spells there will be unsettled conditions with many thunderstorms which will grossly affect asthma sufferers. One very active low pressure trough now crossing SA has already brought strong winds and storms.