Slice of Life Story Challenge March 7- Abnormal Autumn

Australia has just endured its hottest summer on record. A late burst of rain prevented much of my home state of Victoria recording a summer of severe dry conditions. We live on the driest island continent on earth, but our weather is often contradictory. The intense heat across much of Australia this summer occurred at the same time as much of the Queensland coast experienced rain from major storm systems.

We are now into Autumn and the heat persists. The average temperature in Melbourne for March is usually 24 degrees Celsius but so far we have not experienced a day below 30 degrees. This is setting a precedent. This run of above average temperatures is forecast to continue until at least next Wednesday with the temperature soaring to 37 degrees. This weather is taking us into new territory. It will represent the longest run of days above 30 degrees since records were first kept. I usually love facts. This one? –not so much.

 Such a spell of hot days (and warm nights) at this time of the year is challenging our perceptions of the season. The heat of summer is supposed to taper off according to the book of seasons from which we all read. Autumn is about cooler evenings and balmy days. It’s supposed to be my favourite time of the year. No happening so far. This current weather is becoming oppressive. It progressively drains energy. It saps your drive, making recovery a mountain to climb each day.

 Today, as I worked in a classroom presenting a shared reading lesson with a Grade 5 class, the electricity supply suddenly shut down. We lost the technology, the text on the screen and the undivided attention of some students. We lost the air conditioning and before long, the concentration required to read and comprehend was threatened by the oppressive heat that progressively spread over the room, covering us all like a hot, dry blanket.

 Driving home tonight, I watched as clouds gathered in the distance. Like giant cotton balls they grow in size, but appear to hold empty promises.  No rain is forecast for another week.  These clouds are here to taunt us. That’s cruel and unnecessary. Phew…


  1. I hate the heat of summer! And this sounds too hot for me. Had to go to a conversion chart to be sure, but yes, 30 celsius is 86 and 37 is 98.6 - so too warm for me! I hope you have cooler and wetter weather soon!

  2. It's hard to imagine such oppressive heat when here in New England the wind is howling and snow is forecast for today and tonight. Despite the extremes, I think we're both experiencing the very real effects of global warming.

  3. While I feel the pain of your experience, I have to commend your writing (again) and they way you continue to bring us right into your world, Alan. We're still at the tail end of winter, but I felt a summer blast when reading your post.

  4. I hope those clouds that taunt you gather together soon and spread their healing rains across your land. We too, are in a drought and it is painful to see long established plants suffer. Can I ditto what Kevin said? Your words are a delight to my eyes.

  5. I love the image of those growing clouds, taunting you with their empty's a powerful metaphor for the physical reality you're experiencing in Australia but also for all those things we want so desperately in life and yet they remain just out of reach.

    I hope the dry spell breaks soon!


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