Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gonna be HOT

Australia Day was sunny, late 20s (80F). Today and the rest of the week is forecast between 30 - 40. (86 - 104F) which isn't funny.

Two views from the Carlton Gardens behind the Melbourne Museum by Bev.

One of the great things about Melbourne is that the weather's always changing - the joke goes, if you don't like it, come back in a minute or two. This factor becomes critical when house construction is considered. We have a brick terrace house, which is slow to heat up. Wooden construction houses heat up much quicker, and also cool down quicker. The problem is if your house gets hot, which takes two or three days at 30+, it stays hot for quite a while. Of course we have air conditioning, but we don't use it any more than we have to. But aircon is really critical in our car. When you open the car door, the heat coming out could probably power quite a large town.

No-one on the streets when the mercury's up. Talbot, Vic.

Of course that's minor. Djokocvic (who could only be a tennis player with a name like that) was 'forced' out of the Australian Open today. Anyone even trying to play tennis at 36C+ is really looking for trouble. Even walking the dog is done at a slow pace.

And even that's trivial too. In the countryside the State Emergency Services (SES) are on full allert and the fire danger is 'Extreme'. As long as the winds stay low, they've got a chance. The streets might look like a wild west ghost-town in the sun, but it's all too possible for the homesteads to be burnt out - just like that.

The old Hotel's not looking good.

There's no cloud on the horizon, and that's bad. Melbourne's dams are at only 33.5% full (or 66.5% empty is more the point) - the best in the state at the best they're going to get.

In most of Europe an North America, winter's the killing season, with summer the fecund time. In Australia, summer's the killing time, when everyone keeps out of the heat and prays for rain. The native plants and animals shut up shop, coming out at night and growing in the winter's cooler, wetter weather. It really is a different country.

Of course there's an up side. Bev comes in with...

...fresh, warm, tomatoes from the garden. Must be dinnertime.


PS: it got to 43.4C (110F) in Melbourne today, Wednesday.

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