Monday, January 31, 2011

It's a land of sunburnt plains and of flooding rains ....

A young girl enjoys an ice block - one of hundreds of Canberrans
who flocked to Manuka Pool to escape the capital's heatwave

We have sweltered through the final days of January, with the mercury rising to 33 degrees yesterday, and 37 degrees forecast for today. The late January heatwave has capped off what has been a fairly standard month, with the daily average temperature sitting at 28.3 degrees, just 0.3 degrees above the long-term January average.But the past month has provided its fair share of scorching days, with 14 out of 31 days surpassing 30 degrees. This is above the long-term January average of 11 days higher than 30 degrees.

The hot spell in January has come in three distinct waves, with 30degree days recorded consecutively from January 15 to 17, January 21 to 26, and January 29 until yesterday. The current heatwave looks set to continue late into the week, with every day until Saturday forecast to reach above 30degrees.

Rain and cloud cover forecast from February 2 to February 5 will make the heat somewhat more bearable.

Fire officers and paramedics emerge from
the scrub with one of the women on a
stretcher near Kambah Pool yesterday.

Two women and a man were hospitalised with dehydration and heat exposure, after becoming stranded during a bushwalk near Kambah Pool yesterday. The trio, all believed to be in their mid-30s, became stuck about 5pm while attempting to walk a trail from Casuarina Sands to Kambah Pool. At the time, the temperatures were at the day's maximum of 33 degrees, and the group had used up their water supply. (Quite odd, as the Casurina-Kambah Pool track runs along the freshwater Murrumbidgee River - Obviously thet were more scared of drinking the river water than dying of dehydration!)

About 5.20pm, the man left the two women to get help. He walked 1.5km to the Kambah Pool car park and used an emergency phone to contact emergency services and two specialist Canberra firefighter rescue crews and an ambulance crew attended the scene.

They mave been better off with the throng at Manuka Pool rather than venturing into the scrub in a proclaimed high temperature alert by the Canberra Weather Bureau!


Residents face a tense wait as floodwaters spread in the south to Swan Hill, Victoria

Photographs courtesy of The Canberra Times newspaper and the Australian Broadcasting Commission.


Sharon said...

You have had some extraordinary weather, this year, as well as we have! I wonder what our next seasons have in store for us?

LindaG said...

Crazy weather everywhere. Hope things dry out quickly on one coast while you stay cool on the other!