Smoke, heat and a cyclone on the cards
SMOKE and dust are expected to continue blanketing the southeast, as a tropical cyclone lingers off the Queensland coast.
A tropical low has intensified into Category One tropical cyclone Owen, but the Bureau of Meteorology forecast it was unlikely to pose a threat to Queensland.
A Bureau statement said that the storm was located 1000km east of Cairns, and was forecast to turn westward later today.
Cairns (36C), Townsville (35C), Mackay (36C), and Rockhampton (40C) were all expected to see heatwave conditions today, although relief is on the way. Temperatures in these centres are expected to return to around their monthly average by mid-week, ending a heat blast which has been described as "unprecedented" by authorities.
Brisbane (31C) would be sunny today with smoke and dust haze, but it would be warmer to the west (Ipswich 35C) but cooler at Coolangatta (28C) and Caloundra (31).
The state capital was heading for a milder week, with 30C forecast tomorrow and 27C Wednesday.
Meteorologist Adam Blazak at the BoM said the forecast landfall area of the system was anywhere from Cooktown to Rockhampton.
"There's still a lot of uncertainty with its track towards the end of the week," Mr Blazak said.
He said the system was expected to weaken well before it made landfall.
"There's a 20 to 50 per cent chance of it being a cyclone on Wednesday."
The area impacted by the tropical low or cyclone would receive approximately 25-50mm of rainfall, a welcome relief for fire-threatened communities.