SCORCHER: Archie Lennon was feeling the heat in Gympie yesterday.
SCORCHER: Archie Lennon was feeling the heat in Gympie yesterday. Renee Albrecht

38°C: Thursday is going to be a stinker

IF THURSDAY'S predicted maximum temperature runs to form, we will be sweating it out in 38 degree heat, making it the hottest day this year.

It comes in the middle of a string of scorching days brought about by a warm air mass hovering over Queensland and set to last at least another week.

With seven out of November's 10 days soaring above 30 degrees so far, this month's unrelenting heat has come as a shock following an unusually cool start to spring, and has not only been hard on us humans.

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With wilting beets, paling beans and burning tomatoes; Glastonbury farmer Steven Waugh has been forced to let crops die this week because they cannot withstand the constant above 30-degree temperatures.

 

"November's just turned out to be a stinker," he said.

 

Mr Waugh said the constant heat has meant his non-seasonal crops such as beetroot, silver beet and many herbs have wilted so much they can not be saved.

"The dry is as bad as the heat," Mr Waugh said, who also owns a second farm at Widgee.

"We haven't had any decent rain for a few months; the south-east corner has missed out."

The long-term farmer, who also owns Farmer and Sun fruit and vegetable shop on Southside, said he has been using 30,000 gallons of water a day, which is a third more than last month even when there were more crops to water.

Steven Waugh has had to let a number of crops die sue to searing heat on his Glastonbury farm.
Steven Waugh has had to let a number of crops die sue to searing heat on his Glastonbury farm. Renee Albrecht

The producer of corn, tomatoes, beans, zucchini and herbs said even a few days of relief between the really hot days this month would have meant some of the less heat-resistant crops would have survived.

Pickers at his farms have had to finish by 10am this past week, as picking produce in full-blown sun is not only hellish for the workers, but can damage produce such as tomatoes, which bruise if touched while hot.

A Bureau of Meteorology forecaster told The Gympie Times the temperatures are due to a warm hot air mass over Queensland, brought in by a northerly flow in the last few days.

It has meant the maximum average is 32.1 degrees.

He said although the conditions are not that far above Gympie's maximum November average of 29.9, a cooler start to spring in September and October mean the heatwave has been a shock.

"In early spring we had cooler-than-usual conditions and this abrupt change took everyone by surprise," the forecaster said.

 

STINKING HOT: Gympie's seven day forecast shows no relief, courtesy of Weatherzone.
STINKING HOT: Gympie's seven day forecast shows no relief, courtesy of Weatherzone. Contributed

He said the next seven days are unlikely to provide any relief with maximum temperatures still hovering between 31 and 35 degrees until next Tuesday, which is as far as can be accurately predicted.

Mr Waugh said with summer upon us he doesn't believe there will be any real relief in his patch until April next year.

"The worst part about summer is the prices are normally low and the cost is high.  We've just got to cut our losses."

Gympie Times


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