I love a Sunburnt Country: 2015/16 edition, on last page

Stinking hot start to the year in South Australia and Queensland ...


I'm actually friends with quite a few Australian storm chasers who chased a lot of these violent storms. Pretty fascinating the weather that Australia gets. Definitely rivals the US for extreme conditions.

You may find this 'live heat wave tracker' link interesting

Last year was officially the hottest year in Australia's records. Yet our federal govt still refuses to acknowledge global warming, climate change or indeed appointment or endorse a Chief Scientist or research facility...

This link takes you to a series of charts and maps that explain the figures for last year's weather records.

tomorrow, it will be around 105.8 degrees F in our part of Queensland...

Today, one small town in the mid-west of the State (just 7 hours west of here, not far at all) was a shade under 117 degrees F (116.96). Way too early for this kind of heat: we usually get this around end Jan/beg Feb, when kds go back to school...and not for as long, or quite as high.

OK this is fire - I know it's worse because of the extreme heat wave, but still it's fire. Anyway, the pix are dramatic, and the smoke stretches a long way up and down the SE Queensland coastline. Fire is on Stradbroke Island: marksierra and I have freinds who live near the Story Bridge pictured in one of these photos. I have other friends who live on Bribie Island, to the north of Brisbane, on the Sunshine Coast; smoke is just as dense there.

you don't want to have breathing issues around here just now, or try anything outdoors. It's horrid. Those jokes about Hell's weather have a scary touch of surrealism right now.

D's been stuck in the train about an hour away from home, in this:

He should be getting off the train now. At this stage we have no idea when he'll get home. I heard there'd been 27,000 lightning strikes in 1 hour, around 4.30pm, and over 1.5 inches of rain in 10 mins at some locations. Almost 3.5 inches in 30 mins at others. No wonder there's flash flooding.

Thsi weather commentary gives better synopsis of what we've experienced over the past week:
The town of Roma, in southern Queensland, firstly set a new record for its warmest day on 29 December 2013 with 44.7 degrees Celsius only to have that broken two days later with a maximum of 45.5. Fast forward to 3 January 2014 when another burst of warm air pushed the temperature even higher with the record in Roma now sitting at 45.8 degrees Celsius.

"That's the sort of phenomenal heat we're talking about when locations are breaking the same record on consecutive days," says senior forecaster Matt Bass.

Other towns to see record maximums included:
Urandangi and Bedourie - 47.3 degrees Celsius on 2 January 2014
Windorah and Cunnamulla - 48 degrees Celsius on 3 January 2014
St George - 47.2 degrees Celsius on 3 January 2014
Tambo - 44.5 degrees Celsius on 3 January 2014
Blackall - 45.7 degrees Celsius on 3 January 2014

Hi Joanne, thanks for sharing these reports, they are amazing.

These sorts of extremes are happening around the planet now, with sudden extremes of heat and cold, droughts and flash floods.

I put up a little discussion of some of the underlying forces and how all these things are related that you might find interesting:

I don't doubt the connections; have observed many times that our seasons seems to be somehow in synch and also the mudslides and floods in Europe and Asia Minor seem to coincide with certain periods of weather patterns in our neighbourhood.

But then, I was also brought up to respect people like Inigo Jones and Lennox Walker
Lennox Walker 1925 - 2000
Lennox, born 21 April 1925, was originally from Killara, Sydney. He grew up in an era of partial recovery from the Great Depression and in his teens, worked on stations at Gilgandra and Robertson in NSW where the hard life saw him develop a soft spot for outback people.

Lennox convinced his parents to help him put his age up to join the patriot and honour of the war effort, and at the tender age of 16 ½, he served on the Kokoda Trail in New Guinea. His army service continued until he was discharged in 1946.

On his return, he became a surveyor with both the Queensland and NSW Forestry Commissions. In response to a newspaper advertisement, he came to the Crohamhurst Observatory in 1953 as an assistant to Inigo Jones - "The friend of farmers and city dwellers alike". Inigo was 80 at the time and presumably feeling his mortality. Lennox was thrilled to get the job and worked with the guru, a hard taskmaster, until 2 days short of his 82nd birthday, when Jones died.

Lennox learned all he could from Inigo Jones and then developed his own theories on how sunspots affect weather patterns. A combination of these studies, correlated with the particular time of year, provided the basis of his forecasts.

Perhaps his crowning glory was getting it right for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. After a period of intense rain, he predicted fine weather for the games - and that's exactly how it was. Another credit to his name was Cyclone Tracey devastating Darwin.

At 68, after 41 years of forecasting, Lennox retired and handed the reins over to his son Hayden Walker

Here's another article on our extended heat wave, this time from a more national point-of-view. It actually reminds the reader who has knowledge of Australia's European inland explorers that their journeys to the 'red heart' were in search of a fabled inland sea during a time of extended drought and in sustained temperatures that early European settlers had never previously encountered. Many areas of northern and central Australia were settled when they were lush and 'green' after sudden rains miraculously restored grasslands and waterholes; the explorers and graziers believed they were perfect for raising vast herds of cattle and sheep, growing wheat and feeding the British Empire.

Idiots, in light of what we know now. (well, IMO)

Incidentally, a quick word of advice for our Northern Hemisphere readers.

If you're looking at weather charts or maps for the Southern Hemisphere, be aware that air circulates in an anti-, or counter-, clockwise direction around cells of High Pressure, and in a clockwise direction around cells of Low Pressure. (Just so you don't get confused)

that's a good point!! Also, hops vines grow anticlockwise (apparently) - although one episode of Mythbusters tried to show that was an urban myth.

Hey, marksierra, did you read about all the dead bats??? Heatwave got 'em. Just cooked 'em right through because even the nights were too hot, and the hidey places were way too hot during the daytimes.

Now our Pacific neighbours are about to cop it .. with Tropical Cyclone "Ian" bearing down on Tonga ...

Seems to not know what it wants to do about Tonga: heads towards it, then backs away, then heads back again...reminds me a bit of when Bernie and I were on that cruise around the islands in '81 (about this time of year, too) and the cyclone was circling around Noumea and Fiji. Must have crossed our path 4 times.

So they're saying we're going to get more extreme heat

I wonder if that indicates you'll be getting more of your extreme cold??

More on Australian heat wave conditions: luckily we're enjoying a teeny reprieve today. Here on the Gold Coast it's 'only' in the high 20sC (compared with last week!!) with low humidity, but elsewhere it's fairly dire:

Check out the pic of the poor honey bear.

video weather map of the heatwave conditions:

Meanwhile, we had the Arctic vortex last week!

A friend just returned here from Europe, last weekend. Not surprisingly, she's really ill now with the change from one extreme weather condition to the other. Plus, we have all the smoke still hanging in the air from all the bushfires.

if we're really lucky (!) there will be some cyclone-weather over the weekend to help blow that away.


Now this is significant because:
a) marksierra lived in Tasmania for a time
b) Tasmania is closer to Antarctica than most of the rest of the world
c) it's known for being very similar to the UK in climate. For Hobart (the State capital, located at the bottom of the island) to have reached over 100 degrees F is quite extreme and shows the southernmost waters are getting too warm; the polar currents keep the island cool. This also indicates that the waters are getting too warm for our great oysters and crustaceans to grow, destroying our fishing and seafood industry.

If we're feeling it, so is New Zealand and southern South America; I suspect the waters around southern South Africa will also be warming and experiencing changeable and rough seas (more so than usual).

Here you go! Pics to help you warm up!

Australia's warmest places this year!!

I'm a little puzzled as to why Adelaide is the world's hottest city when we've had other cities hotter recently...(cute but sad pics of very hot wildlife)

And we finally have formal definitions of a heatwave:

Not quite 9.30am and the apparent temperature is almost (just a shade under) 33 degrees C. Barely got under 24 degrees C all night. Yep, still hot as Hades, unrelieved, no real rain in sight, and fires raging all over the place.

Hundreds of crops ruined either as they are about to be harvested or just planted: no water, or smoke-tainted. And thousands of sheep burnt so badly they have to be put down (that's due to a deliberately lit fire, apparently). And some stupid townsfolk are sitting back saying 'farmers always grumble about no rain', when the climatologists are pointing out this is the worst hot spell in our history and the longest driest period in our agricultural zones. We have farmers who are going into their fields and killing themselves because they can't sell their properties, their produce or their equipment, and have nothing left in the world; it's the biggest suicide epidemic on record.

so this story caught my eye, and I think it's a wonderful grass-roots program for anywhere in the world:

Even wild emus need a day at the beach, it's so hot!

It's official: last year was the fourth hottest year on record for the planet.

We've had rain since Friday evening - very patchy and useless then; a bit heavier in patches yesterday but much cooler, and then finally last night some decent falls. Now it's still grey, cool and drizzly...
Australia Day.
Land of contrasts.

The spirit of Queensland summer - especially this one. Classic, classic song...
The clip is so chock-ful of Aussie icons, I can't even begin to list them let alone explain their significance. Pick one and I'll explain it.

Gondawanaland: what more can I say??
(yes - that IS a one-armed didj player you're seeing!)

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