Saturday, January 05, 2008

Fortyfour degrees of separation (80° in Fahrenheit)

Nick Piombino tells me in an email that the temperature dropped to 12°F in NYC yesterday. That’s cold. I can remember growing up in New Zealand when the temperature dropped below freezing point with some regularity in several of the places where I lived, I can even remember it snowing—very occasionally—but I can’t remember living in that sort of chill, & I can’t remember living in any sort of chill aside from the odd frost for the last fifty years.

Here, when I read his email, it was about 33°C, say 92°F, a summer storm brewing, thunder on two sides, muggy as all hell. But, as is so often the case, the storm passed us by. A little bit of rain, a drop in temperature, a cool wind. But still muggy.

A thousand kilometers north, a thousand kilometers south, it’s a different story. Torrential rain, rivers going crazy. They are areas that have always had rain—the north is monsoon & cyclone territory this time of year, the wet season; & I can remember some years back driving up to Queensland from Sydney along the Pacific Highway & thinking that the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales would be a nice place to live, a thought that lasted all of a month until they were hit by floods—but these are worse than they have been for a long time. Plus, places like the Gold & Sunshine Coasts in the south of Queensland, which have always been a favorite spot for holidaymakers looking to lie on the beach, soak up some sun, go for a swim, have had a metre (forty inches) of rain in three days, the beaches are all closed, the waves are something like ten metres high. & sun? What sun?

Elsewhere in the country there are bushfires. & drought.


Blogger Geof Huth said...


A strange almost coincidence here. The other day, when the temperature descended to 3 degrees Fahrenheit (about negative 16 Celsius), I wondered specifically if you had ever experienced much cold weather at all. This thought might have been generated because you are one of the few people I know who lives in a truly warm climate anymore. Since I spent many years in the real tropics, I know what not being cold is like.


4:41 AM  

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