And I Am Cooked!

It’s official: the summer of 2009-10 was my city’s hottest and driest on record. The average daily temperature of 33 C was almost four degrees hotter than the usual; and in the past 100 days we’ve had only 0.2 mm of rain, when we can usually expect 35 mm. And there is no relief in sight.

Someone, please! Take me out of this oven! I am cooked. Baked. Broiled. I am well and truly done.

In normal times, I can rely on my home being 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the air outside. The flat above provides eight feet of insulation from the radiant sun.

But if there are too many fiery days in a row, the concrete slab on which my home is built heats up, and the heat migrates inside.

The north-east wind that blusters in from the central deserts fan-forces itself beneath the doors, through wall-vents and eventually even my cool home becomes intolerable.

In normal times, a cooling breeze blows in over Perth each afternoon from the direction of the sea. As it comes from the direction of the port city at the mouth of the Swan River, Perth people call this sea breeze The Fremantle Doctor, because it makes us all feel so much better.

But this summer The Fremantle Doctor has not been making house-calls.

Few birds nowdays seem able to bring themselves to herald the dawn. Some honeyeaters trill from tree to tree to announce that they are awake, but their notes seem strained and muted. Nothing has slept well in the night. Even the moonlight was hot.

Just moments after cresting the range of hills in the east, the sun already has the power to sting the skin. Trees hang listless in its blazing glare. Nothing moves at midday except the air-conditioned cars. People shelter in their air-conditioned houses. A kind of seige mentality develops. A kind of fever grips the mind, even while the body surrenders.

My laptop feels it, flashes a quick blue-screen and then shuts down to save itself.

The previous hottest, driest year for Perth was back in 1978. But the next hottest to that was last year; the next, the year before, and so on. Eight of the ten hottest years on record have been since the start of the new millenium.

The recent blizzards in the US and Europe have reignited the debate over Global Warming. “How can you claim the earth is warming when there’s record snow?”

But here in Perth, Western Australia, surely the last of the Global Warming sceptics must have shrivelled up and died?

amberdextrous amberdextrous
51-55, M
7 Responses Mar 5, 2010

were there tomatoes stewing on the vine and eggs frying on sidewalks and matchstix bursting into flame. did you burn your feet walking in the sand? if you go swimming do you feel no cooler once youre out of the water? its been this hot before.

Dear Amber, When I was a child I lived in two different deserts---The Mojave which is in California -near Death Valley, And I also spent many years in the Arizona desert ----Both of those places have been sent water from the Colorado River and neither place resembles the deserts of my childhood.<br />
I'm not familiar with centigrade--but 110 Fahrenheit was common in those days....Oddly, I have a picture of my mother holding me in her arms as a baby... She is wearing fur and it is snowing---in the desert. In Los Angeles- where we visited frequently-- Women commonly wore fur in the winter.<br />
I doubt that the Los Angeles of today has women in fur...The Climate there is so strange and changed since I was young---Also Phoenix, Tucson and the Mojave....Yes Human Beings are what changed those places so radically--that an old time traveler like me doesn't recognize them.....The train tracks-where I used to ride the trains--are now in the ocean---The road I used to drive from Half Moon Bay to Princeton is now in the ocean....It's very strange--the places of my youth still have the same names--but the actual places are simply not there any more...Relax,<br />
do not be afraid... CHANGE, no matter what name you put on it---is the only constant manifestation in this material universe. You are part of it and adaptation is your strong suite'. Hugs, gryf

Pepperoni, with extra cheese, please.

Hi Dex!<br />
<br />
Sorry to hear that you are suffering over there. I spent years living in Florida, USA and know what it is to live in constant heat. WHen does your fall come? SHould be soon? A whole other month? I believe in global warming. I believe that it does not just mean that the temp goes up...it has all kinds of weather reprocussions...

Global warming is a misnomer, climate change is closer to the mark. What ****** me off is the attacks on the climate change lobby are so hypocritical. They are mounted by big business and apologists for the polluters. Of course they can point to specific stats and try to discredit them, but once all the evidence is there and irrefutable we'll all be dead. Risk management is about dealing with uncertainty. What Is beyond denial is the massive destruction of habitat and the increasing number of species under threat.

I empathize, and sympathize, A. There's got to be a question in the back of people's minds at least, about why is the weather so extreme? I don't think it is caused by our cars, it is something much more powerful than mere humans...<br />
...I wish for you The Fremantle Doctor to come. Hang in there, the earth will turn, we will have summer over here in North America soon enough, the Southwest will bake, and you will be cooling off.<br />
Ever try cold water towels on the head? Can be quite soothing, and cools the brain, the most sensitive organ to heat.<br />
Hoping for a breeze for you!

=/idk bout degrees etc but i see its very hot.<br />
....here is cold,sunny but cold-some tourists though wear t'shirts *suprised*