More heat to come before the relief
QUEENSLANDERS will have to wait until this afternoon for some slight relief from the sweltering heat.
Residents in the west yesterday endured 40C-plus conditions, with Trapell Airport near Mount Isa the state's hottest location, recording 46.8C.
It was milder along the coast, but southeast Queensland centres inland did feel the heat. Brisbane (34.9C) was well above average, but with humidity factored in, the capital felt more like 39C.
Severe thunderstorms that swept through the southeast brought some relief, but also left thousands of homes and businesses without power. Some outages persisted into this morning.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Harry Clark said today was likely to be slightly cooler, but still hot, with relief not setting in until later in the day.
"It probably won't be as hot, but still quite above average and quite muggy," he said.
"There will be a fairly vigorous southeasterly change, but leading into that change there could be some severe thunderstorms as well."
Mr Clark said the heatwave was associated with weather systems from the continent's interior.
"We have a trough in the west of Queensland, and ahead of that trough, we have north-westerly winds which drag down really warm air down into the southeast."
"The entire state is hot, but the most severe of the heatwave is really around the west of the state, Mount Isa down to Birdsville and Windora."
Brisbane is heading for 34C, Ipswich 36C, Surfer's Paradise 31C, and Maroochydore 34C.
Temperatures would drop dramatically this afternoon, associated with a wind change which would bring relief from the heat, but also wild weather.
"There will be a fairly vigorous south-easterly change, but leading into that change there could be some severe thunderstorms as well," the BOM meteorologist said.
Temperatures around the state should be about average for Christmas Day, with Brisbane predicted to reach 29C.
But king tides could spoil things for Christmas beachgoers, with inundation expected along shores on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay and up into the Capricornia region.
Conditions similar to those which swallowed up Teewah Beach earlier this year and left some unhappy campers marooned are likely with this king tide, which will last until Christmas Day.
Those planning to travel along beaches are being advised to stick to driving at low tide.
EARLIER: FAMILIES on the Gold Coast face a long night without power, after a brutal series of storms caused extensive damage across the region.
An Energex spokesman said crews were working to restore 253 confirmed power outages, 191 of those on the Gold Coast.
He said crews would work through the night, and be replaced on Saturday morning.
Crews were prioritising making lines safe on Friday night, with the bulk of repairs to be made through the day on Saturday.
There were a recorded 200,000 lightning strikes on Friday evening, 46,000 of those hitting the ground.
The spokesman said the strikes were a substantial cause behind tonight's outages.
"That's a lot, because that's where it starts impacting our network."
Rail services on the Gold Coast will remain disrupted until Saturday morning.
Queensland Rail reported that services through to Robina had resumed as normal, but that a tree across the tracks between Robina and Varsity Lakes meant services would be suspended until last service on Friday night.
A QR spokesman said crews were working on restoring the track before first services on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, power has been restored after an electricity fault that brought chaos and darkness to areas of South Brisbane and West End.
An Energex spokesman said the fault took almost three hours to fix because crews had to search high and low to spot it.
"It was an underground cable fault which caused it, which is why it was hard to see," the spokesman said.
EARLIER: SOUTHEAST Queensland has been pounded by a line of severe thunderstorms, with more than 46,000 homes without power, a roof lifted off a home and trains delayed for up to 60 minutes.
The Bureau of Meteorology cancelled a severe thunderstorm warning for the region at 7pm, but not before destructive winds lashed much of southeast Queensland.
Winds gusted up to 93km/h at the height of the storm.
A Queensland Fire and Emergency spokesman said the SES received 118 calls for help between 2pm and 6.30pm, 113 in the southeast of the state.
The overwhelming majority (83) of those were on the Gold Coast, mostly in and around Carrara.
Power has been restored to the intersection of Grey and Melbourne streets after almost three hours of chaos on the innercity bus network.
The vital intersection, linking the Cultural Centre station with the southern busway, went dark this afternoon after a power outage which affected some areas of South Brisbane, West End and Southbank.
A Translink spokesman this evening said power had been restored to the intersection, but delays of up to 20 minutes can still be expected.