High temperatures becoming more common in Australia

AS AUSTRALIANS swelter in soaring temperatures a climate change researcher has warned the unbearable conditions could now be the seasonal norm.

Sydney topped 40 degrees on Tuesday and extreme fire danger and blazing bushfires forced some residents out of their homes in NSW.

The Bureau of Meteorology released a climate statement revealing that from September to December the average Australian maximum temperature was the highest on record with a national anomaly of +1.61 °C.

Many towns have broken records for the hottest temperatures in more than 30 years. In Hobart, the temperature reached 41.8 degrees, the hottest in 120 years.

Eucla in Western Australia broke a 53-year record after reaching 47.9 degrees last week.

University of NSW Climate Change Research Centre postdoctoral research fellow Dr Markus Donat said studies had shown extremely hot days had become more frequent in Australia.

"In recent studies we have analysed how extreme temperatures have changed globally," he said.

"For most regions, including Australia, we found that extremely high temperatures have become more frequent and more intense, while extremely low temperatures are occurring less frequently than they did in the middle of the 20th century.

"Counting the number of very warm days (in this specific case defined as the warmest 5% during the 1951-1980 period) we found that during the most recent three decades 1981-2010 the frequency of days in this warmest category has increased by 40% globally."

Dr Margaret Loughnan of Monash University said high risk groups during the heatwave included the elderly, chronic disease suffers and babies.

"People should avoid exposure - stay indoors as much as possible. Use air-conditioners, if available, and fans to circulate air," she said.

"On hot days do essential jobs early before the hottest part of the day.

"Avoid cooking, eat small light meals."

Topics:  heatwave weather

Bus driver killed after being "set alight" by passenger

The scene of a bus fire in Moorooka in Brisbane. Police allege flammable liquid was poured over the bus driver, who died at the scene. 11 passengers were injured.

A 29-year-old bus driver is dead after a passenger set him alight

Police call for CCTV footage after woman's body found

Detectives have declared a crime scene after finding a woman's body.

Where to trick or treat in Ipswich this Halloween

Plenty of kids will be dressing up again this year.

HERE are some of the streets ready to celebrate

Local Partners

Workmates honour crash victim with tribute

UPDATE: Tanya Lyell is being remembered as a young mother dedicated to her family and work as the town she called home mourns its loss.

Where to trick or treat in Ipswich this Halloween

Plenty of kids will be dressing up again this year.

HERE are some of the streets ready to celebrate

Things to do this weekend

ON STAGE: Dragon play the Ipswich Civic Centre tonight.

See an Oz rock icon, take in a play, or visit a musuem

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

60's British rock legends to return to Australia

The Troggs will play a string of dates across Australia in November.  Photo Contributed

We all remember 'Wild Thing' and now you can hear it live.

Depp jumps ship from agency of 25 years

Johnny Depp has signed to CAA after 25 years with the United

Orlando Bloom 'buried' Katy Perry in birthday flowers

Orlando Bloom "buried" Katy Perry in flowers for her birthday

MacBook fires up: New "touchbar" will include emojis

COULD emojis help the MacBook again deliver a laptop revolution?

Angus T. Jones got miserable on Two and a Half Men

Child star's misery while shooting 'Two and a Half Men'

Bachelorette shock: "This isn't how it's supposed to go!"

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Is Woolworths departure good news for Ipswich CBD?

Artist impression of the Ipswich Mall for the rejuvenation project to be undertaken by Ipswich City Properties

Council is on track to release a detailed plan before December

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available