We have been having the strangest weather in Australia since (and before) I arrived. Following the hottest summer on record, the day before I arrived in Perth there was a violent storm. I can’t recall the proper metrological name for this but there were comments in the local papers and photographs, showing a perfect cataclysm of heat, thunder, lightning and rain. Not that this in itself sounds unusual, but there was something rather compelling about the violence. The net result was that although it brought the temperature down, the city was unseasonably and unusually humid. The sun shone as usual, but it was quite uncomfortable and Perthies were complaining bitterly, my friends were anyway.
On arrival in Melbourne the weather seemed better, cooler and sunny. Though we hit some very strong winds as we descending and it was far from comfortable coming in to land. In fact, apart from one memorable flight in a violent thunderstorm over Singapore, I have never experienced such a turbulent flight.
The winds have been quite extraordinary! The first night, I think it might have been the very edges of the tornadoes further North, everything in the garden here blew about – scattering pots and ornaments and breaking them with a resounding smash, such that I thought my window had been blown in. Thankfully not!
The following day it was sunny with spurts of heavy rain; but yesterday, the wind blew from the North – hot and heavy – the city sweltered at 34 degrees, but if you opened the car door it nearly blew off its hinges. We were on the coast at Campbell’s Cove and Werribee, over to the North we could see dark, funnel like clouds forming. I have never seen anything like it in England, it may be to do with the enormous expanse of sky over flat land or it may really be a feature. We were under blue skies, but off to the side there was this triangular cloud, narrow point at the bottom widening until it filled the whole sky, though it seemed to be light on either side. There were reports of grass fires in various areas and we saw nine fire engines charging along the freeway back in the direction we had just come from. Then at around nine in the evening we went out into the garden and you could smell the rain coming, there was this amazing scent on the hot wind, which I was assured, was the smell of the bush. And I could believe it! The smell of furze, flowers and eucalyptus, it was like nothing I have ever smelt before. Gorgeous, heady and rather alarming – then down came the rain, one or two huge drops and then it pelted nearly all night, 30 millimetres were recorded in the city.
Today the wind has moved around 180 degrees and is coming from the South at 113 kilometres per hour, it is much colder but still the odd bout of heavy rain, in short bursts. We are under the clouds and then under the blue sky. The clouds are like a grey duvet, the edges look like fractals and each layer in Fifty Shades of (darker or lighter) Grey is moving swiftly – and when it is not raining the wind is strong and chilly, though it is still bearable to be outside without a coat (at least it was an hour or so ago). I think the temperature has dropped to 14 degrees! Yikes!
The sky is a clear blue again, shading to pink as the sun goes down (from right to left which I find rather disconcerting!).