It's getting hot in here! The east coast is set for some scorchers

Birdsville had Queensland's hottest temperature at the weekend at 41.6 degrees. Source: Wiki Commons/Ian Cochrane

It’s safe to say it’s going to be a scorcher in Brisbane today, with the temperature set to reach a top of 33 degrees today. And that’s nothing compared to the top of 37 degrees forecast for Thursday.

In the north of Queensland, Rockhampton will hit 34 degrees today.

Over the weekend, Gatton and Thargomindah broke their all-time September maximum temperatures, while Amberley had its hottest September day since 1943. But Queensland’s hottest-of-the-lot crown went to Birdsville with a 41.6 degree-Saturday, its hottest September day since 2003.

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Meanwhile, much of New South Wales will also feel the burn, with temperatures today in Lismore expected to be around 35 degrees, and 32 degrees in Coffs Harbour. Even traditionally chillier Sydney will have a pleasant 27-degree day on Monday, according to weatherzone.com.au.

There were plenty of record-breaking temperatures across the state at the weekend, with Wilcania breaking the all-time September record by hitting 40 degrees at 1pm on Saturday.

Weatherzone’s forecast for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday in Queensland ranges from hot to very hot, with some isolated showers and gusts of wind on Wednesday.

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In NSW, the Weatherzone forecast is for a hot Monday, warm to hot on Tuesday, and some patchy rain and wins on Wednesday, before showers come in on Thursday.

The unseasonably hot weather is in line with the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast for a warmer than usual spring in the north and south-east of Australia, following on from an unusually warm and dry winter.

The Brisbane temperatures are a good 1.9 degrees higher than the long-term September average maximum of 25.6 degrees.

As a result, the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) has warned residents us to take precautions in extreme heat.

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The QAS suggests checking in with your doctor if you’re on regular medication, as some medicines can leave you more vulnerable to heat stress.

But not everyone is lucky enough to work or live in an air-conditioned building, so here are some simple tips for keeping cool when it’s scorching outside.

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No air con, no problem

Opening windows and doors in the house early in the morning, as well as using a portable fan, can push out hot air and draw in cooler air. Then, as the sun starts to rise, keep all windows, doors, blinds and curtains shut to keep the cool air in for as long as possible.

Head downstairs

As hot air rises, the upper stories of a home will be a lot warmer than the ground floor. If you have one, a basement can make a cool refuge from the midday heat.

Jump in the shower

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Not only is water great for hydration, it is also a great cooling tool. Hot? Why not cool off with a cold bath or shower? If that sounds like too much effort, you could wet a cloth and place it on your head or shoulders. Sitting near a fan will enhance the cooling effect of the cloth.

Opt for cotton

Go for lightweight cotton clothes whenever possible. Synthetic fibres trap heat, while cotton absorbs perspiration and the evaporation causes you to feel cooler.

Take a trip to the shops

If the heat is unbearable, take a trip to the shops, find a spot to sit, and enjoy the free air con! Or, head to the cinema and spend a few hours cooling off while taking in a movie.

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Remember your pets

Pets also suffer in severe temperatures. To help your dog or cat keep cool, wet a towel for them to lie on or to give them a cool bath to keep their temperatures down.

What are your top tips for cooling off in an unexpected heatwave?