QUEENSLANDERS will swelter through above-average temperatures when summer arrives with a blast of hot north-westerly winds over the weekend.
The mercury is expected to climb above 30 degrees in Brisbane on Thursday and continue rising into early next week when a top of 34 degrees is predicted.
Temperatures won't be as high in Gladstone, with the next few days expected to hit 30 degrees, followed by 31 on Sunday and 32 on Monday and Tuesday.
In Ipswich, a maximum temperature of 38 degrees is expected on Sunday, while in Birdsville, in the state's far south-west corner, the mercury will soar to 45 degrees.
"We've got a very slow moving trough situated across western Queensland, as well as some very, very hot northwesterly winds bringing in heat and humid air from the inland areas," Bureau of Meteorology forecaster David Grant told the Brisbane Times.
"Everyone's well and truly going to know that summer is here.
"There will be hardly a location in Queensland that will be below 30 degrees by the start of summer."
Temperatures will return to average in the latter part of next week, the bureau has predicted.
Chief health officer Jeannette Young has activated Queensland's heat stress response plan after advice from the weather bureau.
People should drink water when thirsty, and avoid tea and coffee because they worsen dehydration.
Residents without air conditioning should stay cool under a fan with a wet face cloth or a spray bottle filled with water.
People with elderly parents or neighbours are asked to make sure they open their windows to let the cooler air come through, if they haven't got air conditioning.
Pets should be provided with plenty of water