Since just before Christmas 2010 it has been HOT in Perth, W.A. O.K. not too many days above 40C (104F) but nearly all of the past 3 months have seen days above 30C (86F), many of which have been in the very high 30Cs. I know people who live in colder climates may think this sounds wonderful but believe me it really is not.
One can actually become tired of blue skies day after day and having to try to keep our gardens alive. The coastal areas of our lower south-west are just pure sand and they do not hold water. Our water restrictions limit sprinkler use to 2 days a week during summer (none at all in cooler months) and you can only water between 6pm and 9am the next morning and supposedly for 10 minutes only on each 'spot'. You can spend a fortune on granules to spread on the ground that hold water and on mulch but when the heat continues it can become a losing battle. Driving through the suburbs last week I noticed quite a few trees and shrubs looking quite dead or dying which is so sad.
Today is the solstice and I am sure that is not going to change anything as our forecast for the coming week has days all in the 30s again and as high as 35C (95F). I heard a few black cockatoes fly over the other day and they are often a sign of a change in the weather but I think they were just perhaps hoping rather than knowing. This is supposedly autumn and our eastern states neighbours are already enjoying it with lots of rain as well.
The old bushies say that if the weather here doesn't break before Easter then it won't break until I think it is the second summer after Easter. Heaven help us this year as Easter is not till the end of April and even summer lovers won't be happy with that prediction. We are all 'over it'.
Some areas of Perth have had rain recently but here in Hamilton Hill not ONE drop for many, many weeks!!! I am waiting for the first fall and the lovely smell as the water hits the parched earth. There is actually a special name for this that I discovered recently and it is:
PETRICHOR - In 1964 2 Australian researchers, Bear and Thomas, in an article for NATURE magazine wrote "the smell of rain comes from an oil exuded by certain plants during dry periods whereupon it is absorbed by clay-based soils and rocks. During rain the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin, producing the distinctive scent.
There are also other explanations for the smell of fresh rain but even though we have sandy soils I expect that the above explanation covers it quite well.
Even worse than all of the above is the effect the drought in southern W.A. is having on agriculture. Our wheat yield will suffer as well as other crops etc., and it is a very hard time for farmers who must be praying for rain every day.
Come on Hughie....send us some rain and break the drought and bring us cooler days.