While Queensland’s east coast is set for a wet end to the week, much of the state’s south will swelter through the first heatwave of 2021 as forecasters warn flood warnings are still active.
Meanwhile, Victorians will sweat through one last day of intense heat on Wednesday before a welcome cool change sweeps through.
Melbourne hit 36.7C on Monday, the hottest day since January 2020, and temperatures are likely to reach 34C on Wednesday, with “hot to very hot” conditions to hang around other parts of the state.
The Bureau of Meteorology said isolated afternoon showers and thunderstorms were forecast for eastern Victoria, with winds becoming moderate north-westerly from late afternoon.
“A cool and gusty west to south-westerly change extends from the west from late afternoon,” the bureau said.
Melbourne is expected to reach just 23C on Thursday.
In Queensland, “fairly heavy shower” activity is likely to continue into the weekend between Innisfail and Ingham but will shift its focus north by Friday.
Parts of the Tully region received at least 171mm on Wednesday, with Cardwell on the coast measuring 147mm.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jonty Hall said the rain was likely to continue into the weekend.
“On Thursday it will affect more the Cairns and Daintree area … It will be a bit of relief from heavy falls for Innisfail to Ingham where there’s been a lot of recent heavy rainfall,” Mr Hall said.
Meanwhile, the mercury is set to spike across the Channel Country on Wednesday, where temperatures are expected to hit “at least” 40C. The heatwave will reach its peak on Friday when daytime temperatures could reach 44C.
“Generally we will see that warmer air march eastwards across the southern half of the state in the next few days,” Mr Hall said on Wednesday.
“That will reach the southeast as we head into Friday and Saturday, and there will be some relief getting into the southwest by late in the week.
“There won’t be record-breaking temperatures, but it has been relatively cool for a week or two across the south, so it will feel quite warm.”
Southeast Queensland could get some wet relief from the heat as storm activity develops on Friday.
Rain would cool down inland parts around the Darling Downs and the Great Dividing Range before moving to the coast on Saturday, Mr Hall said.
“We could see one or two severe storms around on the Saturday,” he said.
“That will stay in place into Sunday and Monday. Things will remain quite unsettled over the southeast corner of the state.”
Flood warnings remain active for parts of the state; however, Mr Hall said the biggest concerns were two major alerts.
“The main one is for the Herbert River which flows through Ingham, and there’s a major flood warning for the Murray River as well,” Mr Hall said.
“Everything else is minor at the moment, but there are a number through inland Queensland.”