Saturday, February 7, 2009

Heat hunting

I swear it was just a week or two ago that I said that posts about the weather were a so-what... But today was quite a day. Melbourne finally broke the all-time all-year maximum temperature record, 115.5 F/46.4 C. 

At the height of the heat at about 3:40pm I grabbed my personal thermometer and ran outside to see if I could find the hottest surface temperature (the "skin" temperature, the surface of the ground as opposed to the air temperature a couple feet off the ground which is what you see above) around our neighborhood. 

In grad school in Arizona we would run out and see if we could fry an egg on the sidewalk on the hottest day of the year. Turns out you can't. Sidewalks aren't that hot, you need something like an motor oil stained manhole cover or the metal hood of a black car. Even then the best you can get is over-easy, a little less than totally runny.  

There's so many cliches about heat... But they were all true, when I walked out into the 5% humidity and 50 km/hr winds, it was like being blasted in the face by a pizza oven wrapped in a sauna nestled in a box of hair dryers... on a tin roof... in hades... with the heat on. Anyhow my thermometer is made to measure liquids so it wasn't quite designed for the task, but here's the best I could do today...

145.5 F/63 C. Hot damn! It was right outside our door actually, in front of a construction site, it's a large thick metal slab out in the street and the hottest temperatures were right in the middle. Later on I started to think I could do even better on some of the tram tracks going down the middle of Toorak street... but then a confused policeman came along and rousted me. 

Later on we had blackouts in our apartment. And Christine remarked that this might be the first time she hasn't felt cold. But the heat was over in like 10 minutes, as you can see when the winds and my first showers came through. 

And here's a gratuitous sunset shot...


  1. All the glamor of a husband with a personal thermometer, all the excitement of one who gets rolled by the Po Po. :)

  2. Whoa! Fierce! It was drizzly grey today, 50s, with tattered edges that let the sunset illuminate the twilight through the overcast. Worlds apart.