WARNING: Dangerously extreme heatwave upon us
FORECASTERS are warning that the most severe heatwave in years will hit the region tomorrow, bringing dangerously high temperatures with little relief all next week.
Temperatures are expected to soar to 35 degrees tomorrow, followed by three consecutive days of 37 degrees in Gympie from Sunday to Tuesday.
Wednesday is expected to reach 35 degrees, before returning to 37 degrees again on Thursday.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Harry Clark said it's intensity and duration will make conditions dangerous.
"It's going to feel very uncomfortable given the duration,” he said.
Those most vulnerable will be young and elderly people and anyone with illnesses, he said, with pets also at risk of suffering symptoms from extreme heat exposure.
"But once you get to an extreme heat levels it affects everyone,” he warned.
No cool change will break up the warm stagnant air mass generating the extreme heat, he said, with night-time temperatures likely to sit at a minimum of 22-23 degrees.
"Given how hot it is during the day, there's not a chance for people to cool off during the night.
"That's what leads to dangerous conditions in terms of health.”
He said planning ahead heat is a must.
People should avoid the sun, seek out air-conditioning and maintain their fluid levels, he said.
"There's been hot days this summer, but nothing of this extent and duration so far.”
Temperatures on the Cooloola Coast are likely to be cooler, with tops predicted at 32 to 33 degrees next week, but Mr Clark said the trade off of seeking out the coast was the rise in humidity.
The Gympie region's last warm spell was in the middle of January when there were five consecutive days above 32 degrees, peaking at 37 degrees on two of those days, but that was "not coming close” to what is forecast for the upcoming week, he warned.
The hottest recorded day in Gympie was 42.4 degrees in 2014, and Gympie's hottest February day ever was recorded last year at 41.3 degrees on February 12.