The heat of the moment: Record temperatures in Queensland

2 min

It’s been hotter than usual in QLD, which is saying something. The final week of November had unprecedented hot weather throughout the north tropical and central coasts of the state.

A significant heatwave impacted major areas of The Sunshine State in the last week of November this year. According to the BOM, numerous locations reported their annual temperatures records for November, or for any month, some by very large margins - including 42.6°C at Cairns on the 27th (more than 6°C above the previous November record of 37.2°C on 20th November 1900).

Many other north tropical and central coast locations observed record runs of consecutive hot days with more than 140 bushfires burning across Queensland. The chart below displays the maximum temperature on Wednesday 28th November across Australia and highlights the extreme temperatures that the Queensland coast reached compared to the rest of the country.

As this heatwave was recognised as a uniquely extreme event, the BOM issued a Special Climate Statement on it, detailing the many drivers for this level of extreme heat including ‘the lack of rainfall along relevant parts of the coast, leading to drier soils favouring hotter daytime temperatures’, strong westerly winds and background warming trends such as persistent above-average day and night-time temperatures.

Some other key points from the heatwave included:

  • Second highest Sunday demand recorded for QLD with 9080 MW at 7pm (market time) on 2nd December 2018
  • Highest Sunday demand recorded was 9390 MW on 12th February 2017 at 5:30pm (market time)
  • Highest ever QLD rooftop PV generation, estimated to be 1772 MW at 12pm (market time) on 24th November 2018 (also highest ever daily total at an estimated 14186 MWh)

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