A hot and deadly summer

February 15, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Posted in All, Australia, Weather | Leave a comment
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While the bushfires in the northeast of Victoria have subsided, they are in no way yet contained. Firefighters are still working round-the clock to put out existing blazes and flare-ups. And now another fire has broke out in the Dandenong Ranges. The weather forecast for the week ahead doesn’t look promising at all. There is no rain in the horizon.

This summer started a bit late but when it did, boy was it hot. Melbourne experienced its hottest day ever on 7th February at a scorching 46.4 degrees Celsius breaking the 45.6 deg C 1939 record. This was the day the killer fires started.

Our place does not have airconditioning. Every summer we contemplate on getting air-con but then somehow we keep on putting it off and this year is no exception. We reasoned that if we ‘survived’ the previous hot summer days, we would with this one too. But of course we didn’t expect the mercury to rise that high.

On that fateful Feb 7 day, we monitored the temperature at Foxtel’s weather channel. In this side of the world, weather is an interesting subject. In the Philippines, weather forecast is almost always like the one below (taken from PAGASA website).

Ang Kalakhang Maynila ay makakaranas ng madalas na maulap na kalangitan na may pag-ulan. Mahina hanggang sa katamtamang hangin mula sa Silangan at Hilagang-silangan ang iiral at ang Look ng Maynila ay banayad hanggang sa katamtaman ang pag-alon. Ang tinatayang agwat ng temperatura ay mula 24 hanggang 32 antas ng Celsius (75°F hanggang 90°F).

Ang Luzon ay makakaranas ng madalas na maulap na kalangitan na may kalat-kalat na pag-ulan na magiging maulap na may kalat-kalat hanggang sa malawakan ang mga pag-ulan at pulu-pulong pagkulog-pagkidlat sa Kabikulan na maaring magdulot ng pagbaha at pagguho ng lupa. Ang natitirang bahagi ng bansa ay magiging bahagya hanggang sa kung minsan ay maulap ang papawirin na may pulu-pulong pag-ulan o pagkulog-pagkidlat.

Mahina hanggang sa katamtamang hangin mula sa Hilagang-silangan ang iiral sa Hilaga at Gitnang Luzon at mula naman sa Timog-silangan at Hilagang-silangan ang iiral sa natitirang bahagi ng bansa. Ang mga baybaying dagat sa buong kapuluan ay banayad hanggang sa katamtaman ang magiging pag-alon.

It is consistent. And boring. It doesn’t make a good icebreaker. 🙂

It probably didn’t help (psychologically) that we were able to see the temperature increase slowly but steadily. At noontime, I couldn’t bear the heat any longer so I took off to The Good Guys shop in DFO to get a portable evaporative cooler. To my disappointment, the unit we were looking at a brochure from the junkmail was sold out earlier in the morning. The other units left was selling for a price I wasn’t willing to pay. Tight-277 me.

We did ‘survive’ the sweltering heat as the cool change came early in the night. It felt like God turned on the skies’ air-conditioning systems.

I’ve just had enough of summer heat. We had our day in the beach and we regretted it. It was not so smart to spend hours sunbathing when it was 43 degrees. While hubby tried to protect himself with sunscreen, I didn’t. I get tan lines after 15 minutes of exposure to the sun but I don’t care. I hate the sticky after feel of the sunscreen lotions. Still, we missed some spots on hubby’s body and completely forgotten about his feet. His sides turned lobster red and so was his feet which got only worse when we came back home. In a few hours, his feet swell he couldn’t walk properly. That was dumb of us. What were we thinking? For days, we felt the stinging in our bodies and until now we are still peeling all over.

Ahhh, the price you pay for getting some Melbourne sun.

Back to the bushfires, the death toll now stands at 181 but more is expected as the ruins are being thoroughly checked.

A  P  P  E  A  L

Should you wish to donate to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, please follow this link to the Australian Red Cross.

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