On This Day …

Saturday 11th January, 1896

Photo by Jean Carneiro

Photo by Jean Carneiro

We’ve had a bit of a heat wave across the southern states in the past week, with temperatures in the high thirties and low forties (Celsius). Most of us know from experience that on those days it is best to keep exertion to a minimum, and shade and water to a maximum.

Some of the inland areas hit extremes in temperature, hitting the high forties in the shade. In 1896, the southern states endured a heat wave that began, in some areas, in October of 1895.

HeatwaveThe town of Bourke in NSW suffered the worst of it. The thirteen worst days ended on the 11th of January, but by then 47 people had succumbed to the heat. With temperatures averaging at 47 degrees Celsius, it is no wonder.

According to the Barrier Miner, a local newspaper, the temperature did not dip below 45 during the day and 38 at night for six weeks, with the top reaching a soaring 53 degrees.

By late January, across the southern states of Australia, 437 people had died through the heat wave.

Thankfully these days we have air conditioning which can alleviate some of the difficulties of extreme hot weather. Back then, the best they could do was dip in the nearest river.

What do you like to do on extremely hot days?

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Published in: on 11th January, 2013 at 10:49 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Swim, make lemonade… sleep.
    That was one seriously disgusting summer. And to think it started in October in some places. Not romantic yesteryear stuff at all!

    • Sorry to steal the romantic notions of summer away. 😉 Imagine trying to write a romantic kissy moment set in the middle of the outback in the hottest part of summer. Ewww…. But, a challenge all the same. Hmmm …


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