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Australians warned of record heatwave

01 January 2014, 17:27

Sydney - Australians on the coastal fringe were on Wednesday warned to prepare for a taste of the record-breaking heat that cooked the central deserts at the close of 2013.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Alasdair Hainsworth said the first heatwave of the southern hemisphere summer could see some towns roast at 40 degrees Celsius and above.

In Alice Springs, where the maximum daily temperature has not fallen below 43 degrees since Monday, residents are being primed for the temperature to climb above the 1960 record of 45.2 degrees.

Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, is expecting its hottest day in six years on Saturday with a scorching 39 degrees.

Inland from Brisbane, in Birdsville, the temperature could reach 48 degrees on Thursday, melting tyres and keeping the 295 locals off the streets and in the famous Birdsville Hotel.

"They've got a pretty simple choice," a Birdsville resident told the Daily Telegraph newspaper. "Inside the pub is 23 degrees and outside is 53."



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