February 6, 2009

Be alarmed, this is NOT a drill!

We had some stinker hot days in Melbourne last week, followed by a series of not entirely stinker hot days.

(Are you bored yet? Hold on, it gets more interesting.)

Tomorrow we're going to have another stinker hot day, promptly followed by a cool change so significant that I'll be whining "what the hell happened to summer"?

Last week our handy-dandy Premier had nothing much to say about heat, water security, or massive public transport failures, the likes of which I've not known in my lifetime. He was also sanguine about tens of thousands of people not having electricity during the scorching heat as entire suburbs were shut down to ease the load on the grid.

By contrast he's just a little bit hyper about our single hot, hot, hot, hot day tomorrow.
Victorians should cancel whatever plans they may have had for tomorrow and take whatever steps necessary to prepare for what Premier John Brumby is calling the "worst day in the history of the state".

"If you don't need to go out, don't go out, it's a seriously bad day.

"If you don't need to travel, don't travel.

"Don't go on the roads. If you don't need to use the public transport system, don't use it.

"If you can stay at home, stay at home.

"If you've got relatives who are elderly, if you've got friends, if you've got neighbours, please call on them."

Odd thing is, the Premier wasn't hysterical on any of the three successive working days when we had the very same conditions last week.

What a difference it makes when the "worst day in history" can be held on a weekend.

Worst day in history


  1. Yeah its all a bit much.
    Lets just forget about all of the deaths last week due to the heat too!

  2. Politicians = arseholes. Nothing new there Caz.

    We will have our "little" Melbourne this weekend (42 & 44) - as we did around Oz Day (three or so of the days). All so far - significantly - on weekends. How would Sydney Electricity hold up on a Tuesday?

    Politicians = mealy-mouthed arseholes. This is what comes of privatising essential services and utilities. Telephone lines, power, public transport, water, hospitals - to name several - are what we pay bloody taxes for. Not for a bunch of Merril and Lynch wankers to bastardise for pocket money.

  3. Indeed Father, water is a public good.

    I'm perpetually flummoxed that provision and access to water was turned into a profit making business.

    Ditto electricity, which is set to increase profits with smart meters. Allegedly they'll be able to change rates on a hot day, for example, and charge up to $170 a day for a household to run air conditioning during hot weather. You can bet your last five cent coin they won't try the same trick with any businesses, only consumers, just as business pays a tiny amount for water, while residents are gouged.

    Last week nearly 2000 train services were canceled out of nearly 6000 services that should have run. Apparently our public transport system was only designed to run when the weather goes up to a mildish 35C. (Oh, of course, many a train fails to run in winter too, apparently our public system doesn't like the cold either. I'm thinking of giving this a burl in the terms & conditions of my next job: "I only operate between the temperatures of X and Y. Outside those temperatures I will not perform normal or abnormal work duties".

    BTW: Notice how there's not a single road or train or hospital or nursing home or dam in the Rudd rescue package? A pile of cultural centres for schools that probably need new toilet blocks and permanent class rooms far more urgently. Go figure.

  4. Some of your rural areas are going to reach as high as 47C Father - ouch that's hot! (That's 116F, for our American friends.)

    You're also going to have worse wind (sorry to be so personal), up to 50k gusts going on.

    Nasty day for Vic & NSW all around.

  5. Yeah: tomorrow does not look good. Currently 41c outside and 25 in. The Daikin is coping so far.

    The "ceement pond" is currently at 29. I imagine it'll crack a record tomorrow and reach 30. Didn't see Jethro last time I dove in though...

  6. Not the worst we've ever seen Jacob, not by a long shot. Could change overnight if they can't be contained though.

    Eight big fires is disturbing, although none of them 'huge' - biggest concern is that so many are so near townships. The cool change might help the fire fighters, but not nearly as much as a good spot of rain would help.

    Thankfully no suggestion that any have been deliberately lit.

  7. Getting worse. Cool change bringing big winds.

  8. Anonymous9:58 PM

    A friend phoned late this arvo to announce that the cool change had arrived.

    I stuck my head outside and copped a schnoz-full of very warm, acrid, smoke-tinged air. There have been apparently 'smallish' grass fires just to the north and south of where we are in the S-E.

    Yeah small, but apparently several homes have been lost, according to reports I've yet to confirm.

    Yes indeed, an anxious night ahead for many folk all over this corner of Aust.

  9. News sites aren't updating much, last I saw was 30 homes lost, many towns under threat. Telly not providing updates (so put on a DVD).

    Tried looking at the map of Vic with large fire locations marked, but everyone else must be doing the same, either that or my PC being skittish - couldn't get the page to load.

    No wind here (inner city), zip. Was hoping for a cool breeze through the place.

    UGH - Herald Sun finally updated (Age hasn't update in over two hours) - 14 confirmed dead. Awful. Fires are so close to towns, some small fires joining up and creating havoc very quickly, I gather.

  10. Anonymous10:16 PM

    Oh my god yes, it's all starting to look very, very grim indeed...

    14 dead in Victorian inferno

    Fourteen people are dead and dozens of homes have been destroyed as fires burn over tens of thousands of hectares in Victoria and New South Wales.

    Six have been killed at Kinglake, four at Wandong, three at Strathewen and one at Clonbinane. Police fear up to 40 people may have died.

    Victoria is bearing the brunt of the inferno with ten major fire fronts...

  11. Up to 50 homes lost, just in Bendigo?

    It would be impossible to know loss of life at this stage.

    The morning news will be bleak Jacob.

    Have not seen how NSW is fairing, weather was to be similar to ours.

  12. Anonymous10:34 PM

    Terrible Caz! A rotten stinking day. No, not looking forward to the morning news...

  13. I know, I know.

    How much did Victoria get in January, about 0.008mm?

    Supposed to be "showers" the next four days, as if anyone really believes that.

  14. Chrissst! I hear rain!

    All too late, in real terms.

    Maybe some will fall where needed, and heavy enough, to help out the fire fighters. No idea how those guys have the strength, the fortitude to do that job.

  15. No fires here yet - certainly nothing like Victoria. There is a suggestion that "some" of the fires in Vic were deliberately lit. If they're the ones resulting in death, the bastards should be treated much like the Murphy brothers.

    I can't see too much rain in the prognostic synoptic maps. The winds should become south sou'east. They appear to have been north nor'west yesterday. With a bit of luck that should turn some, at least, of these fires back toward themselves?

  16. Anonymous9:32 AM

    My sincere sympathy to all Victorians on the horrific disaster now unfolding. Hang in there Vics and be assured our thoughts are with you.

  17. Army coming in to help.

    100km fire front raging, not sure which area. That's massive.

    Yes Father, "firebug" sounds like a small annoyance. Killing people isn't. One can only hope they're caught. I can't fathom why anyone would deliberately start fires, can't grasp it.

    It's all dreadfully sad Geoff. We can only hope that people have been evacuated and are safe, and that no fire fighters come to grief.

  18. Anonymous12:05 PM

    News services are still piecing together the extent of it, should get a reasonably coherent picture by the evening news.

    Fires previously confined to Kilmore, Kinglake and Murrindindi have now joined to form the what is being referred to as the Kinglake complex fires, with a fire front stretching more than 100km wide.

    Meanwhile NSW has another scorcher today with dangerous winds. Fingers crossed it won't be a repeat of the Vic disasters.

  19. News breaks are already saying "worst ever" Jacob, which I hate, loath, with a passion. It might turn out to be true, but shit, these are NOT records you WANT broken.

    From memory, worst bush fires in Victoria resulted in more than 70 people killed. Let's hope this one isn't the worst.

    Albeit, sounds like hundreds of homes and properties lost, entire towns have been burnt to the ground.

  20. Anonymous12:47 PM

    NSW has sent more than 200 firefighters with 40 trucks and other eqipment with more on the way right now in an attempt ot relieve some of the people in Vic who haven't had a single rotation off since this horror started.

    Weather conditions in NSW are extreme with fires out of control in the Hunter and around Bega. People can only pray that the firefighters will not be needed as badly here as they are in Victoria. Qld emergency workers are tied up with floods. God this can be a cruel land.

  21. They've got 60 fires going in NSW Geoff, they might need all hands on deck up there. Seems optimistic that they're sending folks to help down our way.