Damn, it’s hot
Monday January 02nd 2006, 10:52 am

New Year's Day 2006 fires in NSW (image: SMH.com.au)Had the hottest day I’ve seen in Australia in my 9+ years here yesterday. My thermometers recorded a 45.3C (113.5F) maximum and we had gusty winds all day. Bushfires have sprung up about 50km (30 miles) north of us. A cool weather front swept across my area at about 10pm which dropped temps to 21C (69.8F), which will help the fireys a bit but the 50-70mph wind gusts from the southerly fanned up bushfires that the fireys had nearly controlled.

At 45C, everything is hot as a cup of coffee to the touch. Even plastic items like my mouse and keyboard were hot. It is actually worse to sit in front of a fan than simply to be in still 45C air. It’s like sitting in front of a hairdryer. Even 2 hours past the cold front moving through, the knotty pine floors and plaster walls were still warm. The concrete of the front porch was still too warm to stand on for long, even at midnight.

The high winds caused power glitches, so in anticipation of a good long outage, I searched up my stash of candles. Unfortunately, a box of 10 emergency candles all melted into one lump of wax with 10 wicks. My study maxed out at 50C (122F). In the peak of the heat, my computer simply refused to run.

I do have one window aircon unit in this house, but when the temps get above 38C (~100F), even though it’s a BIG unit (draws 16 amps at 240V), it can barely cool one room at those temps, though it will normally keep three rooms comfortable. Homes built in the 1960s in Sydney don’t have much (if any) insulation and only single glazed windows. With an average summer daytime temperature in Sydney around 25-27C (77-80F), much more than basics isn’t necessary.

The cool front brought some low cloud with it. The bright orange glow from fires about 50km north on Mt White and around Woy Woy was ominously reflected off the clouds. Fortunately- for us at least- the 80-110km/h (~50-70mph) winds from the cool front were blowing from the south, pushing fires and flying embers away from us. Others near Kariong were not so lucky. Hopefully we’ll get temps back down to usual for the next week. We’ve had a few days of WAY TOO DAMN HOT. Gail over at 12th Harmonic, who is not far from us, tells her tale of escaping the heat at the dreaded shopping malls.

So, the US and Australia won’t sign on to the Kyoto Protocol because it is bad for business, eh? Perhaps the oil companies driving government policy should get into the hurricane and bushfire recovery business. 


8 Comments so far
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It has been the strangely coolest summer Perth has seen in nearly 100 years. Like it.

Comment by Jennifer 01.02.06 @ 2:28 pm

Give it back, dammit!

Comment by weezil 01.02.06 @ 7:27 pm


Nice overcast skies right now.

Comment by Jennifer 01.02.06 @ 8:48 pm

Oh yes, at last a Perth summer that doesn’t feel like we’re paying for our sins. But still today it was 33*C but it sure beats the 40+’s we normally are getting from the end of October onwards.
All my adult life I have worked towards getting away from these God-foresaken summers and now, thanks to an environmentally-unfriendly right-wing government I can stay here where there is no work and still be comfortable,exluding the shocking suburns from the hole in the ozone-but so long as you wear clothes from head to toe, you’re alright! Yay.

Comment by ab 01.05.06 @ 10:02 pm

Imagine living in this sort of weather with absolutely no air-con.

Super markets are my friends. Its amazing how long you can window shop in front of the refridgerators. Eventually its just a case of lying still and waiting for the heat to pass.

Comment by Kieran Bennett 01.06.06 @ 1:46 pm

When I heard these figures weezil I was thoroughly astonished. I had no prior comprehension that it was actually possible for temperatures to rise to these sorts of levels, especially so far from the Equator.

I’ll be flying over to Sydney on the twenty-first, and staying there for two weeks. I can’t even begin to imagine how I’m going to cope with the conditions over there when I’ve been feeling uncomfortable even in the comparatively moderate summer climate of New Zealand.

It’s interesting to think about the huge differences in climate between Australia and New Zealand when one considers the miniscule breadth of the Tasman Sea on a global scale. New Zealand’s temperatures are middling but the humidity tends to be very high. From what I’ve heard, Australia’s climate is more of a dry heat and that is why so much of it is arid and there are so many bush fires.

Godspeed to you all having to live constantly in those sorts of conditions. I’m sorry to say that if my computer stopped working for the heat, that would be the last straw for me. You really are rugged people for necking it out through such adversity!

Comment by Gary F 01.09.06 @ 12:44 pm

Our children and our children’s children will curse us for not organizing to get rid of this insanely, self-destructive capitalist system. Most of us are suffering from a severe case of cognitive dissonance. We cannot come to grips with what is happening because it means changing social relations and that’s a scary prospect.

Comment by Mike B) 01.20.06 @ 8:17 am

Gary, we don’t live constantly in the sort of conditions we had on 1 Jan. That was one freakishly hot day at the end of a warmer than usual week, but temps have moderated to nearer the average since. Temps have been around 26-30C. We’ve had an unusual spate of rainy days in the last week, though. Sydney normally gets about 340 sunny days a year.

Mike, pure capitalism doesn’t work very well, but I have no oppsition to it in principle. When capitalism has no conscience, it deserves to be reined in.

Comment by weezil 01.20.06 @ 12:21 pm

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