Archive | January 16, 2014

Melting Melbourne


Today is roughly the middle of Summer in the southern hemisphere. And boy, don’t we know it. While much of the northern hemisphere has to cope with record low temperatures, we are going through a heatwave this week. Today was our third day in a row of 40 deg plus and we will have one more tomorrow before a cool change comes through and cools us down for the following week. Todays photo was taken after 9pm and even as I type this (at 10.40pm) it is 32.1 degrees. Unfortunately there are lots of bushfires blazing around both Victoria and South Australia. In the last 24 hours, more than 1,000 bushfires have been reported.

There has been some debate about how many days of hot weather constitutes a heatwave. Sections of the media like to call one hot day day a heatwave. I’ve always thought of a heatwave as being four days or more of 40 degrees C (104 degrees F). Yesterday the Bureau of Meteorology defined heatwave as “being three or more days of unusually high maximum and minimum temperatures in any area. ABC weather guru Graham Creed says there are three grades of heatwave, with severe and extreme posing the most serious risk.”

Some people have been posting photos on social media showing ice cream melting in 8.5 seconds when it is spilt on the hot concrete. Others have shown how quick it is to fry eggs in a frying pan. This hasn’t stopped sports-mad Melburnians from going to the numerous sporting events in the city. On Tuesday (the first day of this heatwave), more than 60,000 people attended the Australian Tennis Open, an A-League soccer game and a T20 cricket game in the CBD (including me).