Heat records have been smashed in five Queensland towns on the eve of what could be Brisbane’s hottest-ever day.
Forecasters predict the mercury will reach 41C in the river city on Saturday, nearing its 43.2C record set on Australia Day in 1940.
Searing temperatures have broken a number of records across the state.
Windorah residents endured the hottest temperatures in the state on Friday, with the mercury hitting 48C – an all-time high in the tiny central west Queensland town.
Records were also broken at St George (47.2C), Cunnamulla (47.2C), Goondiwindi (45.9C) and Roma (45.8C), a day after four inland weather stations recorded their highest-ever January temperatures.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster David Bernard says there is a chance Brisbane will make it into the history books on Saturday.
However, he says that will depend on whether a sea breeze penetrates the city before the mercury peaks.
“It will go close,” he told AAP.
Ipswich may also cop its hottest-ever day on Saturday with 43-degree heat forecast, just short of the record 44.3C felt in 1994.
With temperatures in southeast Queensland expected to be more than 10 degrees above average, residents are being urged to stay out of the heat.
“If you are indoors, make use of fans and open windows or switch on an air-conditioner, and if outdoors, take precautions to ensure you keep cool,” Health Minister Lawrence Springborg warned.
While the mercury will dip on Sunday, southern Queenslanders will have to wait until Tuesday for a real reprieve from the scorching weather.
Brisbane is set to reach tops of 33C on Sunday and 36C on Monday, while 28C is forecast for Tuesday.
Mr Bernard says there is also a chance of a thunderstorm in Brisbane late on Monday.
The bureau issued a severe thunderstorm warning for southwest Queensland and parts of the state’s northwest and southeast on Friday evening.
It is also warning of a severe fire danger for central Queensland and parts of the southeast on Saturday.
This is bad news for firefighters battling a blaze on Stradbroke Island off the southeast coast.