Queensland is bracing for a sweltering run-up to Christmas, with most of the state's interior expected to reach at least 40C by the weekend.
The Bureau of Meteorology says temperatures throughout the interior west of Ipswich, near Brisbane, right up to Doomadgee on the northern Territory border, will sit in the low- to mid-40s for at least a few days from Friday.
Sunday is expected to be the hottest, with temperatures up to 12C above average in some towns.
Birdsville was expected to hit 47C on Wednesday, well above its December average of 38.9C.
It will "cool" to 45C before heating up again on Monday.
However its Christmas Eve forecast of 47C is still well shy of its state record of 49.5C on the same day in 1972.
The states southeast will escape the worst of the heat, but Brisbane will still hit 35C on Sunday.
The coastal areas will be cooler with parts of the Gold Coast expected to be under 30C on Christmas Eve.
Australian Associated Press