Brisbane’s temperature dropped suddenly on Sunday evening. Picture: istock
Brisbane’s temperature dropped suddenly on Sunday evening. Picture: istock

Did you feel the temperature drop?

AFTER steadily rising all day Sunday, temperatures then dropped dramatically in the southeast corner, falling more than 11 degrees in two hours.

Brisbane was sitting at about 36.7C at 4pm and by 6pm the temperature had dropped to 25.2C.

The Bureau of Meteorology said there was a particularly dramatic temperature change at Brisbane Airport, where the mercury fell 4C in one minute and 7C in 10 minutes.

Scores of people were hospitalised with heat-related illnesses across the weekend, including a 45-year-old woman who is in a critical conditionafter the extreme temperature brought on an underlying medical condition, causing her to have a heart attack.

The woman, a popular vendor at the Helensvale NightQuarter Markets on the Gold Coast, was one of three people struck down at the venue with another woman in her mid-30s fainting from the heat and a man in his 60s hospitalised with heat-related symptoms.

"The incident was highly distressing for all vendors and our management team," NightQuarter director Michelle Christoe said.

"We wish her a speedy recovering and our thoughts are with her at this time."

First aid officers immediately responded to the woman's collapse and performed CPR until a "multitude" of ambulance crews arrived and transported her to hospital where she remains in a critical condition.

Temperatures across the state soared throughout Sunday with Julia Creek the hottest at 44.4C followed by Cloncurry at 43.1C and Richmond at 42.9C.

Brisbane sweltered through temperatures up to 38.1C, the highest January temperature in 18 years.

Overnight temperature records were also smashed on the weekend, with Winton recording its warmest night in history on Saturday night, with a minimum of 33.1C.

Cloncurry matched its warmest night ever at 32.7C, on par with the 1972 record, while Longreach had its warmest night since 1902 with temperatures not dipping below 31.8C.

More than 250,000 people packed Queensland beaches throughout the weekend and more than 60 people had to be rescued by lifesavers, including a 60-year-old man who was swimming outside the flags at North Kirra Beach and a 13-year-old surfer at Currumbin.

Queensland Police blasted animal owners who had left their dogs in cars during the scorching temperatures saying there had been a "worrying" number of cases.

"It's inhumane and it's irresponsible," the spokeswoman said.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty issued a stern warning to the cruel pet owners saying anyone caught would be charged with breaching their duty of care.

"It defies belief that people will still leave their dogs in cars, especially in this sort of weather" he said.

The Queensland Ambulance Service issued a plea to Queenslanders to stay hydrated and keep out of the hot sun after they were called to a number of heat-related cases before temperatures had even spiked.

"We have been busy and we have had elevated numbers of calls for heat-related symptoms," Queensland Ambulance senior operations supervisor Luke Wyatt told reporters.

Bureau of Meteorology Michael Knepp said the scorching temperatures were expected to ease. He said the hot weather had come from warm westerly winds from the interior of Australia which also stopped the cool sea breezes from cooling the state.

"It was quite a hot day," he said.

"It's not typical weather but we do see these days once or twice a year."

People flocked to the state's waterways in a bid to keep cool.

Among them was Brazilian Diana Nassif who is in Brisbane studying business and spent the day swimming with friends at the Bunya Crossing Reserve.

"We spent our day just chilling out and swimming and trying to keep cool," Ms Nassif said.

"It's so hot here in Australia.

"It's not this hot at home in Brazil."

The hot weather caused a number of late afternoon storms with severe weather warnings issued for people in the Northern Goldfields, Central Highlands and Gulf Country.

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