Granite Melt: region swelters in hottest days ever
IF YOU feel like it's been a sweltering February by Granite Belt standards, you're not wrong.
The region recorded its hottest two days on records at the weekend, with the temperature at Applethorpe soaring to an all-time high of 39.7°C on Saturday and 39.3°C on Sunday.
The region may be known as the coldest in Queensland, but heat exhaustion was high on the radar as the mercury crept upwards.
Meteorologist Dean Narramore from the Bureau of Meteorology said Saturday's maximum temperature broke a February record of 36.8°C set this month, but it also broke the all-time record of 37.8 from 2014.
Mr Narramore said records were similarly broken across the Darling Downs, including Warwick and Toowoomba, on Saturday.
However, a south-easterly change which kicked in yesterday brought some respite for the region.
Fellow BOM meteorologist Michael Narramore said Sunday was officially the second hottest day recorded in the region.
Mr Narramore said today would be the coolest day this week, with a top of 26°C, but the remainder of the week would not come close to the weekend's toasty conditions.
Michael Smail from Smail's Swim School said Stanthorpe's swimming pool was packed with people escaping the heat.
"We were really busy on Saturday but maybe not as busy as (Sunday),” he said.
He said locals and backpackers alike flooded the facility as the uncomfortable temperatures continued.
While this meant a hectic few days for he and wife Gail, Mr Smail said the pool-goers were mostly well-behaved and respectful.
"It was really good. The public were all very well behaved,” he said.
Mr Smail said the frequency of extremely hot days had increased notably.
He said those enjoying the pool took strong precautions against dehydration and sunburn.
The heatwave has meant an increased workload for paramedics and hospital staff across the state and much of eastern Australia in recent days.
Granite Belt Wildlife Carers president Betty Balch said the group had animals in need of care during the hot weather.
"We've had a few birds that have been really dehydrated and a couple of possums but the rest of the animals seem to be coping quite well,” Ms Balch said.