Sweaty night in southeast Qld

Ben Domensino, 6 November 2018

Warm and humid air made for a sweaty sleep in southeast Queensland last night, with some places enduring their warmest November night on record.

A mass of hot air is being directed over Queensland this week ahead of a broad low pressure trough, which is slowly making its way across Australia from west to east. In addition to the heat, this trough is also drawing moisture-laden air across Queensland from the tropics and the Coral Sea, which is exacerbating the heat in some areas by raising the relative humidity, particularly near the coast.

Higher relative humidity indicates that there is more moisture in the air, which makes it harder for your body to cool down by sweating. As a result, warm and humid air masses often make your skin feel sticky and sleeping can get uncomfortable.

Sea surface temperatures off the east coast of Queensland are about 1-2 degrees warmer than usual at the moment. The highest anomalies, or the most unusually warm water, is sitting just off the state's densely populated southeast coast. This warm water is enhancing evaporation, leading to more moisture in the atmosphere.

Last night was Amberley Airport's warmest November night on record. The temperature only dropped to a low of 23.8 degrees shortly after 5am today, beating the old record of 23.7 degrees from 2008.

Brisbane's low of 23.5 degrees early on Tuesday morning was only its warmest November minimum in three years. However, relative humidity values lingering at around 80-90 per cent caused it to feel more like 27-29 degrees throughout the night.

Further west, temperatures stayed even higher overnight and struggled to dip below 30 degrees in parts of the Maranoa and Warrego District.  However, the air was notably drier this far inland, so it didn't feel quite as muggy.

Charleville's low of 29.4 degrees early on Tuesday morning was its highest November minimum since 1965 and just 0.2 degrees off its November record from the same year. By 9am, the mercury had already hit 36.5 degrees in Charleville. This morning's low of 28.6 degrees at St George was also its highest November minimum in 53 years.