KEEPING IT COOL: Maryborough's Tash Ward had all bases covered as she took to Maryborough pool to cool off and was taking no chances with a spray fan as well.
KEEPING IT COOL: Maryborough's Tash Ward had all bases covered as she took to Maryborough pool to cool off and was taking no chances with a spray fan as well. Alistair Brightman

HEATWAVE: Heritage City, Bay to swelter in mid-30s

ARMED with a spray fan and re-locating to the local aquatic centre, Maryborough's Tash Ward has a fool-proof strategy for beating sky-rocketing temperatures.

Ms Ward is one of hundreds of residents in the Heritage City who will be cooling off today as the mercury soars to the mid-30s.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast temperatures of up to 36 degrees in Maryborough and 32 degrees in Hervey Bay today as parts of south east, central and north Queensland experience a low-intensity heatwave.

Those numbers are about 3-6 degrees above the average February temperatures for both towns.

Meteorologist Lachlan Stoney said a stagnant air mass over most of southern Queensland was the reason for the above-average temperatures.

"There have been no cool changes so that air has been heating up day after day,” Mr Stoney said.

"Hervey Bay should be getting some afternoon sea breezes so that should bring some relief later in the day.”

Contrasting temperatures from the country-wide system have resulted in searing conditions across Queensland and New South Wales while areas in Victoria and Tasmania continue to plummet to the negatives.

Mr Stoney said the Wide Bay region was not experiencing the worst of the temperatures, with some areas in the Darling Downs peaking at 43 degrees.

While there is a slight chance of storms today, he said tomorrow's and Friday's conditions are expected to bring some relief to the Fraser Coast.

"By Friday the cool air will start to push its way up to the Wide Bay area and potentially bring a change in wind direction and more clouds,” Mr Stoney said.

"There will likely be a better chance of showers and potentially thunderstorms from those days onwards.”



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