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Owen weakens as Queensland’s fiery heatwave ends

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Tropical Cyclone Owen has failed to strengthen as expected, but heavy rainstorms are still predicted for much of Queensland.

Owen was forecast to develop into a Category 2 cyclone, but remained at Category 1 and is expected to weaken into a tropical low as it moves towards the Queensland coast later this week.

The Bureau of Meteorology says there is finally an end in sight to the extraordinary heatwave that has hit the state, with temperatures easing through the south today.

“Humidity has increased across eastern Queensland, producing conditions much more typical for this time of the year,” a spokesman said.

The Bureau says heavy rainfall is expected in many areas, which could bring relief from the dozens of bushfires that have swept the state.

“We could see severe storms over central districts, Wide Bay and the tropical inland today,” the spokesman said.

“Rainfall will be very welcome over fire sites, but gusty winds and storms could exacerbate local fire conditions.”

Temperatures tomorrow should ease further through most of the state and heavy rainfall resulting from ex-Cyclone Owen is a risk along the central and northern parts.

“By later this week the remnants of the ex-cyclone may approach the coast and could produce heavy rainfall about central and eastern tropical parts. But lots of uncertainty remains in the movement of the system in the longer term.”