Friday, February 06, 2009

Adelaide's Deadly Heat Wave of 2009

I'll be serious today.

Yes, yes... you may now pick your collective selves up off the floor and close your collective jaws.

The forecast for today is 110 F in the shade. Officially it's 107 in the shade. At the ole homestead it's only 103 in the shade and a cool 137 F in the sun.

Last years heat wave was a record, and so is this years FIRST heat wave (we've got two more months of possible hot weather). The other day we had SA's third hottest day ever after having the hottest night ever.

Fun... NOT!

People are dying. Elderly and homeless are the hardest hit --isn't that always the case? Modern western society kinda sucks at taking care of those not able to take care of themselves, eh?

The morgue, which is generally less than 1/3 full, is maxed out. They've had to bring in some refrigerated freight containers for the bodies pending autopsies.

The major hospitals have all got together and declared that all non-emergency elective surgery is halted. All docs and nurses who would've been working on those surgeries are assigned to emergency services and ambulances.

I'm not making this up!! The official "count" is at 75, but I'm guessing you could add a "1" in front of that.

Why? Well it kinda costs a wee bit to run the ole a/c after the electricity was privatized (ETSA is now owned and ran from Hong Kong, BTW) quite a few years ago. And if you can't afford to run your a/c, then you do without.

I'm not sure why there is a drastic difference in the apparant heat between here and say... Austin, Texas on a hot day. I've walked around downtown Austin every afternoon for a week in a heat wave. I can tell you that IT'S A LOT HOTTER down here even though the official temps are the same!

On a hot day last week I put the temp sensor in the sun and left the screen in the shade. Keep in mind that this temp gauge in the shade is pretty much spot on with the "official" shade temp. Here's what I got:

very warm
Just ignore the humidity reading as I never bothered to calibrate that feature.

What's that you say? You can't read what the temp was at 2:03 in the arvo? Let's just zoom in a wee bit:
hot zoom

Up in Kotzebue, Alaska it was -37 F the other day; not as cold as the Interior but still bloody cold!! The windchill, however, was -64 F.

Hmmmmm, the temp diff between OTZ's windchill and South Oz's sun temp was 209 F on pretty much the same day. Funny ole world, ain't it?


Ishmael said...

What's your price per kilowatt hour down there?

If you think private electricty is bad, wait until they start privatizing the water (some have tried).

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Ish: Firstly, we get billed quarterly (that's every 3 months, BTW). The first 299 kWh is at .1724 (about 25% higher than your .1380). Then it goes UP to .1755 between 299 kWh and 698 kWh (27% higher than yours). And anything after that is a whopping .2009 per kWh (45% higher than yours).

And don't forget that 35 dollar supply charge!

Now since they bill every 3 months instead of monthly, you can probably guess that the bulk of the bill will be in the .2009 bracket. Sneaky, aren't they.

ETSA was privatised a while back and is owned by a Hong Kong firm, BTW.

When I was in Fairbanks I ALWAYS voted against the privatisation of any service. Why? Cus the rates always go up no matter what is promised. ALWAYS, WITH. OUT. FAIL.

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Loveanewidea said...

Hope you're safe from the wildfires I'm hearing about!

Also, sent you an email about the cardamom - my recipe says I need pods?

Ishmael said...

Agree with Love, there.... Just heard about the wildfires.... Hope you're safe from them. What town do you live in, again?

And how did you find out the electric rate here....? Don't forget the COPA of .012934 for the amount they have to use diesel instead of hydro, do the total is .152934 per kwh. And we're billed monthly, and I used 194 kwh last month.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Loveanewidea: We're fine, no worries. I'll be posting about the fires later on today. I just popped off an email for you about the cardamom.

Ish: We are in Sturt, SA. It's a suburb of Adelaide so there's no worries about bushfires right where we are. I learned about your rates by using this thingy called The Google :) You may have heard of it cus it's part of something like a Series of Tubes...

Anonymous said...


Have been a lurker person who has enjoyed reading your blog. Must send you good thoughts during this bad time in Australia. Stay cool as best you can, and take care of the little wild critters who must be suffering now. Give them plenty of water.

Jan in Oregon

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Jan: Thanks muchly! It's been pretty rough no matter how much I sugar-coat it. I put water out for every critter around, no worries.