Bureau of Meteorology predicts 41 degree day for Julia Creek as Queensland outback swelters

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Outback Queensland was set for a taste of summer on Tuesday with temperatures in parts of the North West set to soar to 40 degrees Celsius.

The state’s highest temperature of 41C was expected at Julia Creek.

“These high temperatures pass with this northern flow in front of this trough,” said Helen Reid of the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

The BOM expects temperatures in some hinterland towns to be eight degrees above average for this time of year.

“This summer heat is going to be with us today,” Ms. Reid said.

“Temperatures will drop several degrees tomorrow to return to normal September temperatures, but by Sunday they will be back up to 30C again.”

School holiday fossil programs started early in Richmond this morning in a bid to beat an expected peak of 40C.

Canadian Barb Flewelling says she didn’t expect spring temperatures to be this hot in outback Queensland in the spring.(Provided: Patrick Smith)

Longtime volunteer Barb Flewelling, who is visiting Queensland’s outback from Canada, said she was preparing for the abnormal heat as she was outside on Tuesday.

She and her husband have been visiting Richmond for 14 years to fossick and never expected to face such uncomfortable conditions in the spring.

“Where we live the maximum temperature would be around 35, 38,” Ms Flewelling said.

“Yesterday wasn’t so great – a bit hot on the pitch and I understand today is going to be worse.”

A backcountry road sign pointing the way to Julia Creek and Richmond.
Julia Creek is expected to endure the highest temperature in Queensland today and Richmond won’t be far behind.(ABC North Queensland: Nathalie Fernbach)

Tourists “a little shocked”

Olivia Feegan, tourism manager at the Julia Creek Information Center, said locals were doing well with the early heat, but school holiday tourists were a little less used to the conditions.

“Everyone is fine in town – I think the tourists are a bit shocked,” she said.

“We had 10-15 tourists who came to the center this morning and said they would rather be here with us in the air conditioning.”

Ms Feegan admits it’s early in the season for this type of weather, but knows the system will last a long time.

“There’s not much you can do about it, just keep going, drink lots of water and try to stay cool,” she said.

Jodi Hoffman, manager of Julia Creek Caravan Park, agreed that tourists had a harder time with the rise in temperature.

“I’ve had a few people from the south go, ‘Oh damn, it’s hot in here!’ ‘” she said.

“I had a lady call today asking for an air-conditioned cabin – she didn’t care what she got as long as she had something with air conditioning.

“I think sometimes they come here to warm up and it gets too hard for them.”

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