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Extreme weather events (‘hot’ days)

Key finding

Hot days were more frequent than average at several inland locations over the 2013 to 2017 period.

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Temperature weather stations (select locations to filter information)

Queensland

‘Hot’ days are classed as days with maximum temperatures exceeding 35.0°C.

Hot days are a frequent occurrence in inland Queensland. Locations such as Birdsville, Boulia and Longreach all average at least 120 hot days per year. In summer, these areas can experience hot days for weeks on end: Boulia recorded 177 hot days in 1980.

In contrast, the occurrence of hot days on Queensland’s eastern seaboard is comparatively low. Cairns and Mackay, for example, average fewer than 5 hot days per year.

In the 5-year period of 2013 to 2017, the frequency of hot days has been higher than the long-term average at several inland locations (Birdsville, Charleville, Gayndah and Longreach).

Long-term variability and trends

While a state-wide assessment of the long-term trend in the frequency of hot days per year is complicated, due to the impact of site changes, incomplete station datasets, and the low number of high quality recording sites from which data is available, preliminary analysis for Birdsville indicates that hot days have been more frequent so far this century than prior to the year 2000.

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Cairns Airport

Based on the 1910 to 2010 period, the average number of hot days per year is 3.

In 1935, 17 hot days were recorded.

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Boulia Airport

Based on the 1910 to 2010 period, the average number of hot days per year is 138.

In 1980, 177 hot days were recorded.

Data for 2012 to 2017 is not available.

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Longreach Airport

Based on the 1910 to 2010 period, the average number of hot days per year is 124.

In 2002, 175 hot days were recorded.

Hot days were more frequent than the 1910 to 2010 average for most years from 2013 to 2017.

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Mackay

Based on the 1911 to 2010 period, the average number of hot days per year is 1.

In 2005, 7 hot days were recorded.

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Birdsville Airport

Based on the 1967 to 2010 period, the average number of hot days per year is 123.

In 2004 and 2015, 159 hot days were recorded.

Hot days were more frequent than the 1967 to 2010 average in each year from 2012 to 2017.

At this location, the frequency of hot days increased over the 1967 to 2017 recording period.

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Charleville Airport

Based on the 1915 to 2010 period, the average number of hot days per year is 64.

In 2017, 121 hot days were recorded ((based on 356 days of data at the time of writing).

Hot days were more frequent than the 1910 to 2010 average in each year from 2013 to 2017.

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Gayndah Airport

Based on the 1911 to 2010 period, the average number of hot days per year is 19.

In 2017, 61 hot days were recorded.

Hot days were more frequent than the 1910 to 2010 average in each year from 2013 to 2017.

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Brisbane Airport

Based on the 1951 to 2010 period, the average number of hot days per year is 1.

In 1968 and 2004, 4 hot days were recorded.

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Indicator: Extreme weather events (‘hot’ days)

Hot day frequency for selected weather stations, compiled using data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) dataset (to 2017) as at February 2018. Subsequent updates to data may result in minor changes to some values. For each location the number of hot days per year are plotted for the extent of the ACORN-SAT dataset records, years with more than 5 days of missing data not being included. Rolling 10-year averages are plotted only if there are 10 consecutive years of annual data.

Download data from Queensland Government data

Last updated 26 October 2018