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  • Alina Polishuk


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    Hot and stormy conditions persist in Cairns until the end of the week

    If you took a step outside or even so much as cracked a window this past weekend, you might have noticed that we've had a warm couple of days in the Far North. Like, really warm. 

    According to the Bureau of Meteorology, temperatures reached 35.5º, 37.5º and 34.9º on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively, Saturday being the warmest day we've had yet this month. To put things in perspective, the average January temperature in Cairns hovers closer to 31º, which means we are in the midst heatwave conditions.

    And that sticky, heavy air you've been feeling the past couple of days? Yeah, expect more of that. Humidity peaked at midnight in Cairns last night, reaching a whopping 92%. 

    "Usually the winds coming in the from Northeast will offer some relief to coastal regions, but we've had strong westerly winds coming in from the Peninsula and down from the equator which is bringing the humidity," says BOM forecaster Kimba Wong. 

    Last night's rainfall brought slight respite, but not much. Cairns saw 10-15mm, meters close to Kuranda read 30mm and regions southwest of Innisfail got a good 60-80mm.

    More of the same is expected for the next couple of days with maximum temperatures reaching 33-35º.

    "There is a monsoon establishing over northwest Australia at the moment but we are still waiting for it to establish over Queensland."

    The monsoon is more likely to effect the Gulf of Carpentaria than the Tropical North. However, brief but heavy coastal showers and storms are coming early this week with accompanying thunder and lightning to be expected.

    "Showers and storms are seasonal for the upper peninsula and through the wet tropic region, and they're coming from a surface trough running west to east through the Cape York Peninsula," says Ms Wong. 

    In terms of rainfall, the Cairns area is still quite a ways from experiencing the "wet" conditions of 2018/19, when December brought 785mm of rain and January a whopping 787mm. In comparison, last month only saw 70mm of rainfall in Cairns. 

    So keep those Zooper Doopers handy, those air conditioners on economy mode and leave your hair straighteners under the sink, because we're looking at a steamy and potentially stormy week ahead. And though the big rain hasn't hit us (just yet), don't get too comfortable. Here are 21 things to look forward to once it does.