Saturday Jan 5 and it's 34C outside with the gentlest breeze, just enough to move the superheated air around. Mad dogs might go out in the midday sun but this English man is staying inside. After 10 days beside the sea it's pretty hot. So what does the Sydney Morning Herald say about this weather. On page four there is a story headed, "State's coast spared worst of hot blast." The item starts by saying that a 'Quirk' of weather and geography will spare Sydney from the scorching temperatures searing much of the country. It goes on to say that the temperature here will only just reach 30C. I'll repeat that, the temperature here will only just reach 30C. Well thank God for that. If this were Torquay in August we would consider that to be a 'scorching temperature' and a major problem.
The hottest place in Australia this week has been in Wudinna in South Australia, 47.7C.
To give that temperature a bit more bite, that's 117 Fahrenheit.
Lower down the item it goes on to state that it is expected that the highest record average temperate of 40.17C will be topped this week and even the highest temperature ever recorded in Australia, not counting when we were testing atomic bombs, of 50.7C at Oodnadatta Airport will be challenged.
One serious problem that arises when it is so hot and dry is fire. Much of Australia is under serious threat of bush fires and there are whole areas of Southern Tasmania burning with so far one loss of life and hundreds of properties burn to the ground. People were taking shelter on beaches to escape the flames. Tassie is to the south and usually much cooler than the mainland but even there temperatures have been above 40C. What do I hear when people tell me there is no such thing as global warming?
An other big story from the paper is about the planes and helicopters that fly up and down the beaches at this time of year looking for sharks. It would appear that this system of preventing sharks from eating people isn't all that effective, a test carried out using dummy sharks found that lest than one in six sharks swimming under the pilots are spotted and there are calls for the money to be spent else where. In the last 200 years there have been just over 200 people killed by sharks around the beaches of Australia, that's one a year but in 2012 one hundred and twenty people drowned on those self same beaches. Swimming lessons might be an idea.