Posts tagged ‘heatwave’
Melbourne sweltered through another heatwave, the first of 2017. Hope everyone survived the heat.
Temperature at Melbourne (Olympic Park) hit 36.1C at 3.30pm on Saturday. Of far greater concern, the overnight minimum temperature hovered at around 30C dipping down to 28.4C at 1.30am as the low point before rising to 30C at 9am Sunday. By early afternoon a cool change had moved through dropping temperatures to the mid 20s.
High night time temperatures disturb sleep and reduce physiological recovery for the next day. Night time is also when the Urban Heat Island effect is most pronounced as there is less atmospheric mixing, and zero vegetation transpiration to cool things down, unless there are stronger winds. The Bureau of Meteorology labelled the night as ‘oppressive’ citing both the higher than normal minimum temperature and higher humidity.
The Bureau of Meteorology are predicting a heatwave across south east Australia towards the end of this week. (See BOM heatwave Service) Maximum Temperature for Christmas day in Melbourne is predicted to be 35C. From Christmas Eve to Wednesday 28 December maximum temperatures are forecast to be above 30C with some warm nights with the temperature going down to 20-25C minimum.
Friday 23 December: Min 13 Max 29 Sunny
Saturday 24 December: Min 18 Max 31 Sunny
Sunday 25 December: Min 19 Max 35 Sunny
Monday 26 December: Min 24 Max 31 Becoming cloudy
Tuesday 27 December: Min 19 Max 35 Cloudy
Wednesday 28 December Min 25 Max 35 Cloudy
Moreland Council have been working on developing a policy on mitigating the urban heat island effect. This is when temperatures warm up much more in urban areas due to all the buildings and roads, than rural areas. Climate change is causing temperatures to rise, and also causing earlier and more intense heat waves to occurr. Climate change also amplifies the urban heat island effect.
Moderation of urban heat island effect temperatures by even a few degrees can reduce substantial health impacts and improve comfort for residents in extreme heat conditions. Every year hundreds of ambulance callouts are made for people suffering heat related medical conditions. More people die during extreme heat events than for any other disaster, including bushfires. A 2014 report found that Melbourne, of all Australia’s cities, had the highest annual average number of heat-related deaths, with about 200 a year, according to the Age.
Research has shown that Moreland has a high social vulnerability index to extreme heat already, based upon demographic and social factors.
Moreland Council is conducting a community consultation in regard to the draft Urban Heat Island effect action plan on Tuesday 22 March 2016, 6 pm – 8 pm at Coburg Town Hall foyer, 90 Bell Street, Coburg. You can Register your attendance and download and read the draft plan. The draft action plan was approved for community consultation at Council’s February 2016 meeting with the intention of formal presentation of the final draft in April 2016 followed by formal endorsement in June 2016.
Last week I attended the release and launch of the Climate Council’s latest report of health impacts of extreme heatwaves. Climate change and the urban heat island effect result in increased frequency and intensity of extreme heat events. They are silent killers especially affecting those most vulnerable. Our political leaders need to heed the advice of the experts involved in this Climate Council report on heat health (PDF 4.2MB). They issued a concise statement calling for action (reproduced in full below).
Tuesday, February 23, is going to be very bloody hot, with Melbourne as part of the Central District now issued a heat health alert.
Three country districts had early heat health alerts issued by Vichealth: Northern, North-east, and North-central districts. On Monday Central district, including Melbourne, and South and West Gippsland had heat health alerts issued. On Monday evening Est Gippsland and North East District Heat Health alerts were issued.
Stay cool, leave out water for wildlife, and definitely don’t leave any children, pets or grandparents in the car (Definite no-no).
Bushfire risk at the moment is rated severe. A total fire ban has been issued in 8 of Victoria’s 9 districts.
We hope you have adapted to the heatwaves this summer in Melbourne. The change in the frequency, duration and intensity of Extreme heat events has been shown to be clearly linked to climate change and human carbon pollution.
It was gratifying to see the heat health threat has been amplified during recent emergency services briefings such as on Tuesday 12 January.
This clearly needed to happen as heat stress and heat related mortality is a substantial issue that has been poorly adressed in the past.
Bushfires in early October – Why won’t government name the elephant in the room? Hint: it’s called “climate change”
Bushfires have been raging in many parts of Australia over the last week, with Victoria particularly affected. As we write, there is an out-of-control bushfire near Lancefield.