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Weather Outlook For Fire Ravaged Queensland - Wednesday Peak

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning Queenslanders to expect weather conditions in this fire ravaged state to peak on Wednesday.  

Katarina Kovacevic, Forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology, said on Saturday "We saw a southerly change move through the far south east of Queensland overnight and early this morning it brought cooler conditions with it but still fresh and gusty winds remaining".  

She added, "We’ve got a fire weather warning current for parts of Queensland".  

"It extends along coastal areas from the south – in the Wide Bay and Burnett area extending north along the costal districts to the Northern Gold Fields and Upper Flinders districts as well.

Ms Kovacevic said on Saturday "We are expecting to see that same southerly change start to move through the Sunshine Coast and affect the Noosa area".  

"So winds in that area will shift south to south-easterly.

"Relative humidity will increase as we start to see a maritime influence over the coastal districts but still challenging fire conditions today [Saturday] with that wind change moving through.

"Areas over the hinterland and further inland will still see south westerly winds and those low relative humidities persisting.

Touching on the days of most concern she said, "We’re expecting another front and trough system to move through north east New South Wales and south east Queensland later Tuesday and into Wednesday".  

"So that will mean increasing temperatures and fresh and gusty west to north westerly winds and an increased fire danger.

"So it looks likely that severe fire dangers will start to impact the south eastern interior on Tuesday and on Wednesday, those areas of increased fire danger shifting towards the south east and the Wide Bay and Burnett areas as well" she concluded.  

Vince Rowlands from the Weather Bureau said he expects temperatures to soar and winds to pick up again on the weekend but it won't be anything like what we can expect over the next couple of days.  

Earlier we heard from Chief Health Officer Doctor Jeanette Young that the air in the Brisbane region was worse than the air in Beijing.  Mr Rowlands said the fires in New South Wales are mostly to blame.  

He also stressed that the smoke haze could linger for a number of days.  

Emergency services crews have reportedly commented that they didn't have any access to 'on the ground forecasting observations' meaning Firefighters had no way of predicting weather patterns west of Yeppoon.  Some have speculated that perhaps that's the reason so many homes burnt down.

The official forecast was predicting 11 knot winds, but crews on the ground estimate they were dealing with winds up to 40 knots.  Mr Rowlands wouldn't comment on that speculation specifically but he said an intense fire can generate increased wind speeds that may not officially register.  

He did say that we could see some shower and thunderstorm activity within the Central Coast region.

The long range forecast predicts warm and dry conditions.  

By Hayley Pointon and Michelle Brewer