Cairns swelters in 38.4C - hottest in 18 years
CAIRNS has sweltered through the city's hottest temperatures in almost two decades.
As a historic heatwave settled on the region, temperatures hit an 18-year high of 38.4C about 3.30pm yesterday, making it the hottest January day since 1994.
Weather bureau forecaster Bill O'Connor said the hot and dry weather was the result of a "break period" in the wet season.
Hot and dry westerly winds were sweeping from inland Australia while cooling southerly breezes were blocked by ex-cyclone Oswald.
Mr O'Connor warned that temperatures would remain above the monthly average of 32C heading into the weekend.
"We might see it hit 37C again (today), then it will cool off slightly to something around 34C-35C the next couple of days," he said.
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Sizzling stretch: Yorkeys Knob lifeguard Sam Green keeps watch over a sweltering beach. Temperatures may reach 37C again today.