Yesterday was damn hot. The forecasters said it would reach 38C or 39C in Brisbane: in fact, it reached 37.9 at 15.29, 12 degrees above average for South East Queensland. It was hotter elsewhere in the state: the top temp was 43, at Century Mine, which has a splendid name and is the second-largest zinc mine in the world. It is 1760 kilometres northwest of Brisbane.
Since I arrived in Brisbane almost three years ago, it's been 33C, or maybe even 35C, in the summer of 2011, but that extra couple of degrees yesterday seemed to make a difference. The surfaces in my apartment were warm, as if we'd whacked the central heating up; the water coming out of the cold tap wasn't; my computer was definitely struggling; and the crows were quiet. I stayed in all day and wrote about climate change.
It's difficult to convey a sizzling city, photographically: the sky whites out and the high-risers lose detail and colour. This was the view from my cityside balcony at 9 am, 11 am, 1pm and 3 pm, just before the hottest point of the day. It became hazy-cloudy around about lunchtime but, after a slight drop, the thermometer moved on up.
So, was it the hottest December day on record in Brisbane? As far as I can determine, it was the hottest for a decade (40C on 24 December 2001): but the record was 41.2 in 1981. I need to check these figures with BOM.
I think the heat must have affected aircraft navigation systems. I watched these contrails at about 18.30.