What a homecoming: on the usually cooler east coast stretches the mercury was hitting over 40 degrees and catastrophic fire warnings were in force. Not many hours before I had been decked out in winter woolens (merino wool and possum fur); now it was shorts and a sweat. The day before I arrived, the national average pushed through to the highest point since recordings began more than a century ago: 40.33 degrees on Monday, before it really warmed up on Tuesday. That’s a national average, mind you. Individual places were regularly recording mid 40s to a little under 50. And that’s in the shade. Apparently, it’s been stinking hot for weeks, but the ‘dome of heat’ over the country hasn’t finished yet, cranking up temperatures day by day (with the occasional cool change providing temporary relief for a few hours).

temperature map

 

Once you hit the purple, you’re in the 50s. Perversely, I enjoy a good heatwave, since summer isn’t summer without one. Sleep is a sweaty experience, full of vivid dreams. Merely sitting quietly makes you sweat. But it’s never ever been this hot.

fire-warnings

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