No, not the answer to life, the universe and everything. Rather, the answer to “how hot was it in Melbourne yesterday?” 42.9°C! That’s 109.2°F to the occasional American reading this.
When the cool change arrived early, around 11am, you could almost hear the whole city breathing a sigh of relief. But when the wind changed again around 3pm, and the temperature jumped up 10 degrees in less than one hour… we knew we were in for an interesting night. We were not mistaken.
I went out at 6:30pm for some last minute shopping and, let me tell you: 42 degrees is hot. When you’re out of the wind it’s not so bad; for example, in the protected area behind the massive Melbourne Central tower it was almost comfortable. But the moment you stepped into the wind gusts blowing down Elizabeth St., it was like standing in front of an open oven.
It became better just in time for the 9:15 fireworks (which I saw from afar). However, when I was walking home after the “official” midnight fireworks, surprise: the hot wind was back! It was 34 degrees at half past midnight, and 32 still at 3:00!
It is now 28 degrees at 10am in the first year of 2006, and it looks like today (and the next few days) will be much more bearable. But, then, there’s always the traditional Australian Open heat wave to look forward to…