Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Frost Levi

No, that’s not the sequel to Frost Nixon.

It’s the thin layer of frost that settled on my Levi’s jeans and all my sundry that were strung out last night.

Is this normal in April? According to The Age, it’s not.

Guess we’re all part of history. And some of us slept through it.


Bushfire thoughts

As the previous posts have extensively covered, large areas of Victoria are still burning. People have died, undoubtedly more than have been found so far. Communities (the physical parts of them, at least) are being destroyed. At the moment, the air in Melbourne is full of ash, because of an anticyclonic system sweeping weather down from the north. The sun has this eerie yellow-orange light, that most of us here remember from the last huge bushfires (not that long ago at all).

Some news sources have breathlessly listed the donations made by “Corporate Australia”, $14 million combined from the richest corporations by my latest count; fairly piddling, token amounts, considering the proportion of the countrys wealth controlled by some of these contributors (i suggested they donate their entire tax savings since Howard came to office… it seems fair). As usual for this sort of thing, “Non-Corporate” Australia has been far more impressive, reaching the $50 million mark – a level that is actually going to make some kind of a dent in the damage that has been done, though more is still needed.

You can donate at the Australian Red Cross website.

I have a friend who has been in view of the fires; in Warrandyte, on the edge of the suburbs. He’s described some pretty terrifying sights, like being able to watch individual gum trees explode (eucalyptus oils + heat) through his binoculars. They’re not very far away at all.

Have been tracking down information on Flowerdale, the town where i grew up (we moved when i was eight). It’s apparently been pretty badly hit, do a Google search for the town right now and you’ll find more of those nightmarish pictures of burnt out cars sitting in the middle of the road.

After we moved, the people who bought our old house let a whole bunch of trees grow up close to the house itself. I remember my parents commenting on that. It’s a fairly dangerous thing to do. I only spent Prep and Grade 1 there, but in school we had it drummed into us that you don’t let leaf litter get near the house, among other things.

I wonder how they are. I hope they’re okay. I might drive up in winter, when i won’t be getting in the way of emergency crews (or fires), and see if the house is still there.

Bushfire Disaster, 84 and climbing

It is one thing suffering through a really hot day but another when a bushfire devastate an entire region of Victoria. At the latest report, there has been 84 accounted deaths but there could still be more as police and fire crew continue their work in the region.

The bushfire has burnt the entire township of Marysville, Kingslake and surrounding areas, destroying more than 312,000 hectares.

Many residents were trapped in the region because the bushfire surrounded the roads in and out of the area. Some residents perished while trying the escape the fire in their vehicles. Victims included Brian Naylor, a veteran news reader, and his wife Moiree.

People concerned about friends and relatives known to be in the affected region, should call 1800 727 077.

Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund is now accepting donations through either the NAB or Red Cross.

News Links
The Age “Death toll …”

The Herald Sun “Witness gallery

Herald Sun “Bushfire figures

ABC’s “Bushfire Emergency

Getting through another hot day…

I though it might be timely to post about how people can keep cool on hot days.

In particular, how to keep cool without air conditioning.

Victoria’s power supplies are often stretched on scorcher days, resulting in power outages as resources find their limits or equipment is working harder than it was designed for. We need to be good citizens towards those who live in areas where air conditioning is their last resort for health – whether it be the sick, the elderly, or those living and working in hot buildings or environments. There is potential for the power you use to cause a power outage for someone who needs an electricity supply to survive.

So, how can it be done? (more…)

Free on conditions …

That one is able to catch some form of public transport today. The only form of transport which I didn’t have any problems catching today, was the bus, travelling from station to station.

At the time of penning this post, the city loop was closed or shut down due to a massive power failure. Most if not all the lines are affected. From where I was left stranded, I had the impression most or all the lines are completely down, and no trains were running.

The whole situation worsened as power outages affected many suburbs, including mine, in the outer western area. Just what else can go wrong today? And its not even Friday the 13th. If only I had taken that ferry heading towards Tasmania …

News Links
The Age “Rail network meltdown
Herald Sun “Huge power outage hits Victoria

44.1°, Tennis anyone?

Hisense Arena Panorama

Hot would be the understatement of the century. But according to the Elder’s weather site, in 1938, it went to 45.6°.  I guess the only thing that makes me feel cooler, is knowing that people are playing tennis in this heat. Yes, the big players on Rod Laver and Hisense get the closed roofs but how about all the juniors and legends who were playing this week? Defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic had to retire due to the heat as well as a few other players.

Either way, it’s shaping to be a very predictable and boring ending to the Australian Open. Men’s tennis is at such a higher standard then women’s tennis and Monday night’s game with our newly loved golden child, Dokic just proved that. Safina, supposedly the 3rd best women’s tennis player in the world made 11 double faults to Dokic’s almost as bad 8. So maybe we need to put this in perspective, the 3rd ranked men’s tennis player, Djokovic, in his match the other night with unseed Marcos Baghdatis made 3 double faults compared to Marco’s 2 and that was in 4 sets.

So, best game of the tournament probably goes to Gonzalez vs. Gasquet, for their over 4 hour, 5 set tie breaker game. Worst game could have gone to Federer vs. Del Portro in a one sided, 1 hour and 20 minute match. In not so many words in his interview with Jim Courier afterwards, Federer basically concluded that Del Potro sucked.

Speaking of Jim Courier, there’s one way to definitely not beat the heat today and that is jumping into the Yarra river. In one of the freebies, I picked up at the Open this year, there was a great article on 20 priceless open moments (yes, this was a Mastercard sponsered freebie).

“Three days before the 1992 Australian open final, American Jim Courier and his coach Brad Stine were jogging along the Yarra when Stine made Courier a proposition. Win the Open, Stine said, and I’ll ump into the Yarra. OK, Courier replied, but if you jump, so wil I. He won and they did-the very day newspapers reported the unhealthy quality of the Yarra. Courier repeated his dip when he won again the following year. He decided not to repeat the swim when he won again two years later. “I got some sort of stomach virus after swallowing some of the water,” he explained to the BBC.”

Good to see nothing has changed 17 years later. Keep cool.

Will it ever stop?

Rain on City Road by Michael Blamey

By my account, it’s been raining for 31 38 hours straight. Not that I’m complaining as it seems like most of the water storages have gotten rain.

Photo by Melbourne Today, Michael Blamey who not only has a great website full of Melbourne photos but is currently selling a lovely coffee table book of his collection.

It just hailed (at my place) … followed by

Just what we all need. A dose of Mother Nature at its finest, we had the hot weather a couple weeks ago, thunder and lightning since yesterday and now hail!

Does wonders to the image of Melbourne as a tourist destination, when friends from the UK are asking me to say hello to the Sun on their behalf.

And I was thinking of attending the “Strawberry and Cherry Weekend Festival“, being held in Bacchus Marsh. Thought it might be a good day for strawberry picking (not).

Oh, guess what, the sun is out now. What’s the chances of seeing a rainbow now?

the land of little rain.

It has been raining a bit in the city in the past few days. Well, its not really rain rain, and it really is just a bit. maybe a little drops of water here. and a bit more there.

All part of that four seasons in a day cliche I suppose. The age old conundrum of the Melburnian resident.

The Whitlams apparently weighed in on the topic back in 1998, in their song ‘Melbourne’. Their response : Melbourne’s a ‘rainy city’. Save the title, the song doesn’t mention us by name, and its more about being in love with ‘this [quirky] girl, and her town as well’. Have a watch :

The Whitlam\'s Melbourne on youtube.

Sure is catchy tune. And its so, simplistically happy. If I were to guess, and I mean a shot in the dark, hands tied behind my back, aiming at the toilet with the seat down, blindfolded kind of guess, the interesting girl probably is an avatar for Melbourne itself.

Heh. Okay, so even a drunk year 12 Xavieran can make that connection. But it really is a good song, however you interpret it. And any mayor-elect that promises to make this our City Anthem will have my vote!

Double Rainbow


Spotted a double rainbow last Thursday evening at around 5.15pm after work in Doncaster. Beautiful hues across a red sky, coupled with a freezing cold snap that’s been gripping Melbourne for the best part of three months now. Guess we can’t have everything.

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