#100WCGU – Wk74 – Prompt: the extreme weather meant – 104 words – “Summer Heat”

24 Jan

Our regular coastal breeze had failed. Strong winds from the north-west brought heat from Australia’s desert regions. Temperature in the shade rose to 44C. Away from the coast, temperatures rose higher and in Australia’s centre birds were seen to fall dead from the sky.

The extreme weather meant fires were ravaging many areas. The smell of smoke hung in the air giving ominous warning.

An emergency alert warned a fire was five kilometres distant. Checking wind direction, I knew my house was safe but friends were in its path.

A new day, winds and heat less, my friends were safe… at least for now.


Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.


6 responses to “#100WCGU – Wk74 – Prompt: the extreme weather meant – 104 words – “Summer Heat”

  1. newpillowbook

    January 25, 2013 at 10:58

    “birds were seen to fall dead from the sky” – that’s chilling, and judging from the news stories it sounds as if it’s probably true. So awful. But you describe it well.

  2. Ross Mannell

    January 26, 2013 at 05:39

    Thanks for the comment.

    Yes, the bird part is true. Way out west it was approaching 60C in direct sunlight. Budgerigars were trying to find any shade for protection. Locals saw some fall from the sky because of heat stress.

  3. deanabo

    January 28, 2013 at 08:36

    So frightening! However, the writing is wonderful.

    • Ross Mannell

      February 6, 2013 at 23:27

      Thanks for the comment.

      The photo was taken from my house of a previous fire. The one described was more distant. The friends mentioned operate a wildlife refuge. Thankfully the fire passed around their refuge. Almost all animals had been evacuated before the fire hit. No animals or lives were lost in this one but their has been a number of tragedies in other areas.

  4. annahalford (@anhalf)

    January 28, 2013 at 20:12

    Hard to imagine heat like that; we really don’t have it so bad in the UK.
    Great (but distressing) piece.

    • Ross Mannell

      February 6, 2013 at 23:31

      Thanks for the comment.

      My first permanent teaching position was in a small, isolated school in western New South Wales. I recorded the temperature of 47C in the shade for two weeks running before we had a cool change. Children didn’t venture from shade except when they had to. I suspect a frying pan left in direct sunlight would have been hot enough to cook an egg.


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