Think of Cairns tradies in the heat
WHILE many will escape to airconditioned offices this morning, spare a thought for workers plying their trade outdoors as high summer temperatures hit the Far North.
Cairns Raw Materials truck driver Chaz Bachelor has been working at the Portsmith company for 11 years and said this week was just the start of the sweltering weather.
"It's looking to be one of the hottest (this year)," Mr Bachelor said.
"I don't mind the heat anyway, the hotter the better I reckon. At work, I just get under the hose or like yesterday, chuck a bottle of water over me."
Mr Bachelor said he doesn't envy "people on the shovel," such as road workers, tradies and several other professions having to deal with the Far North's high temperatures.
The temperature in Cairns is tipped to reach 33C today, with the weather bureau revising its prediction of earlier in the week that the temperature could reach 35C.
Kent Hams from Kenick Constructions encourages preventative measures on the job site including hats, sunscreen and drinking plenty of water.
"I can remember a couple of times ... when we've had our last day prior to Christmas, we were up on a roof and we just had to stop, it was way too hot," he said.
Mr Hams said the hottest task on a construction site was five or six hours of roof installation with the sun bouncing off metal roofing sheets.
Weather experts say while Cairns should hit 33C today, with sea breezes cooling the coastal areas, towns west of Cairns will feel the steamy extremes.
"It was 38.2C in Mareeba (yesterday) and potentially they are going to be of a similar temperature (today)," Cairns weather bureau duty forecaster Bill O'Connor said.
Georgetown, west of Cardwell, can expect the temperature to rise to 39C today.
"We have a northwestern synoptic flow so we are getting that sea breeze (in Cairns)," Mr O'Connor said.
"It's a bit cooler than expected due to the sea breeze effect, (but) you don't have to go too far inland and you'll start to feel the heat."
Senior doctor at Mount Sheridan Medical, Dr Jason Delaney, said it was important to take precautions in summer.
"The main message is to stay cool avoid direct sun in the middle of the day and be sensible about activities you are choosing to do don't mow the lawn at midday," he said.
"And the next thing is keep up plenty of fluids. Drink more than usual to keep up with the extra loss of sweat (which) you have in this weather."
He said those experiencing heat exhaustion should go to a hospital or call emergency services.
Symptoms include excessive thirst, rising body temperature, dizziness, lethargy, generally feeling unwell and nauseous.
Yesterday's maximum temperatures Cairns: 30.9C, Horn Island: 32.6C, Cooktown: 33C, Cape Flattery: 32.5C, Lockhart River: 32.6C, Coconut Island: 35.4C, Weipa: 35.9C, Mareeba: 38.2C, Georgetown: 39C, Coen: 39.3C
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Cooling off: Cairns Raw Materials truck driver Chaz Bachelor does what he can to get some respite from the heat in Portsmith yesterday. Picture: MARC MCCORMACK