Disastrous Aussie weather

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's really weird at the moment. Tropical storms in Queensland are having an impact. There is another on the way, it could still strengthen back up to cyclone level, but Queensland is one of Australia's largest states. husband told me yesterday, "Did you realise more than half of Queensland is currently under water?"

    Here are some figures:
    Queensland (area) - 668,207 sq miles
    Alaska (area) - 663,267 sq miles

    And although floodwaters are now receding, more rain is on the way.

    This morning Fifi Box, the weather girl on Channel 7, was interviewing the mayor of Ingham about how they're coping with the town under water. She did a piece which showed emergency services and the resources in place. The mayor has disinfection kits to hand out to every household as the waters recede, so they can make up the stuff and spray the entire property, because septic tanks etc will all be contaminating everything.

    Whenever we get massive floods like this people again talk about turning the rivers inland. Despite the droughts, not a good idea. We did that once already with the Snowy River Scheme and the Riverina. ANd because of all the irrigation use, rising salinity has killed a great expanse of land and river where it would still be working if we'd left it alone. So all we can do is watch as all that wonderful water washes back out to sea...

    And now to heat. I've mentioned the forecast heatwave here, the one that hit Melbourne and Adelaide a week ago and the one that is hitting NSW now and on through the weekend. During massive heatwaves (as in massive fires) the wildlife often moves indoors.

    This morning they announced that this heatwave IS going to break records, it's forecast to break previous world records at Ivanhoe, in the west of NSW. I just liied it up, the previous record high for Ivanhoe was in 2004 at 48.5 C (119.3 F). Ivanhoe has had 11 consecutive days over 40 C and looks like it's now heading to take the crown this weekend as the hottest place on Earth. I'd like to discuss this one further with the media and find out on what they base this - the hottest temperature ever recorded on the surface of the planet is 57 C somewhere in Iran, from what I can find. But maybe they're basing it on te longest hot spell over 40 C, in which case - Ivanhoe is heading for the record books for sure.

    On the news last night they told us that the high prices we're currently paying for fruit & vegetables are due to heat/flood damage. The produce is literally cooking on the trees and in the fields.

    All I know for sure is - it's hot here. It's going to be unpleasantly hot this weekend, although two years ago it was even hotter on New Year's Day.

    I wish I could send some of it heading to those of you locked in by heavy snow.

    I'll let you know how we get on. But for now, difficult child 3 & I have to load up into the car and head out. We've got the typical morning sky of a heatwave day - murky sky with heavy mists (condensation overnight) which are boiling off fast to leave a sky like a turquoise enamel in an upturned copper bowl. Any clouds will rapidly boil off and we won't see any more until late afternoon near the coast.

    Oh well, the sooner we leave the sooner we can get back home for a swim. Time to grab the bottles of ice from the freezer, plus bottles of water, and hit the road, Jack.

    Oh, one more tiny item of news. Apparently that plane that ditched in the Hudson River in New York had the callsign Cactus 1529. Now, is it only in Australia that "cactus" means "we've had it"? Imagine the scene - broken-down rusty ute (Holden utility, aka pick-up) collapsing on its springs in the middle of the Simpson Desert. The driver gets out, kicks a tyre and it falls off. "Reckon we'd better start walking," he says. "The ute's cactus."

    Time for me to get going, before we're cactus!

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Wow Marg, you've got a wide range of weather going on there!

    Sounds like you'd best plan on soaking in the sea for the better part of the daytime hours!

    FWIW, Death Valley, CA summer temps are often at 120 deg. F. The hottest day on record was July 10, 1913 with a temperature of 134 degrees F -- right up there with Iran! I'd never go there in the summer, but we've been there in mid-winter and it's a beautiful place to see. The kids had a blast sliding down massive sand dunes, and we posed for a picture at Badwater, the lowest point in the continental U.S. at 280 feet below sea level. It's on a massive salt plain, which looks like snow from a distance :D
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Wow. Talk about extreme weather!!! OMG!

    Guess I'll stop whining about the snow.

  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh dear!
    Scary stuff. Stay safe. And dry.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Marg - was thinking about you yesterday because I ran across some pics of very very thirsty koalas around (I think) Melbourne and west of there? Didn't realize you're dealing with flooding in other parts as well.

    Stay dry and safe!
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow-that is some weather. Wish there was a way to have a happy medium between your heat and our cold. Stay as cool as possible.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Extremes. That's us.

    It's not too bad here, now we're home. In the city today it was getting hotter & hotter... where husband works there is no heating, no air-conditioning, he just has to count on good insulation.

    Sue, the koalas taking refuge from the heat - that was covered in the first link I put in my post.

    It's good when we get plenty of warning for this, it makes it easier to put safety measures in place. The fire brigades are on high alert, the conjunction of hot weather plus a weekend is a nasty one, firebugs come out of the woodwork and get stupid. They just arrested a man in Melbourne for making stacks of hpax calls plus actually lighting fires - turns out he was a part-time firefighter who wanted HIS unit to get called out so he could get paid. Most of our firefighters are voluntary, although they often do get paid for actual hours in service.

    Our firefighters are great people. A lot of them are just people from around the village. A couple of teachers, a plumber and electrician, a couple of local politicians (actually rolling up their sleeves and getting dirty - no plain desk job for them!) and one of the best jazz and blues singers in the area. Maybe it's how she keeps her smoky blues voice? We were at a gig when she turned up direct from a fire to do her act, she was soaked to the skin and still in her yellow slickers.

    We're glad our kids, and mother in law, are away from the really hot areas. easy child & BF1 live right on Lake Macquarie so they have a very large body of water to keep them cool, plus it's near the ocean (it's like a very large lagoon). The others are all a very short drive from the beach. difficult child 1 & daughter in law live overlooking the river just to the north of us, lots of trees. Plus their unit is right under the foundations of a large house, deep in the hillside. They can always take refuge in their bedroom to keep cool.

    It's just weird weather. A classic example of "It never rains but it pours."

    If we wanted to drive to Melbourne, we could do it in a single day's hard driving. But to drive to where the rain is in Queensland, would take several days' hard driving. We could get to the border in one day, halfway up Queensland in another day, then a third day to get to Ipswich. Further up, the roads get bad especially in the Wet.

    We have a new CD member who is probably copping effects of floods at the moment. With everything else she's dealingwith, it's all she needs!

  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    That sounds pretty hot...
    From what I understand, here in the Sonoran Desert it gets downright hot! When we moved here in August it stayed 100F or higher through October. There were some records broken!
    It can reach over 120F at certain times. It is one of these places with lots of creepy crawlies as well! Lots of Scorpions and Tarantulas. Many Rattle Snakes also.
    It grows on you though. We don't have the water like you guys!
    I may be whining this summer!
    We reached 85F today, which was 1 degree shy of a record!
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Ok, mental note: Don't hope to win an all expense paid trip to Australia in the Jan/Feb. time frame!

    Sorry you're all going through this: I think I'd probably go nuts by now with all of that going on around me.

    If I could, I'd pack the lot of you up and have you vacation around here for a while - I'm starting to believe almost ALL of us are in need of a change!

    Praying for a positive change to your weather situation (our groundhog gave us the high-sign for an early spring so I'm going to start my seeds in another week or so!).