Last Saturday, Melbourne recorded its hottest day on record (46.2C). From a cool start, the temperature quickly ramped up as the 'February dragon' started breathing. The wind reached a crescendo. The sky had turned a strange shade of grey, and there was a great curtain of cloud in the north. Dust? Smoke? Either way, it was not looking good.
At about three I opened the front door to be greeted with dust and smoke... and a blast from the south as the cool change struck. Within half an hour, the temperature had plummeted to below 30C and it was possible to venture outside without feeling you were stepping into an oven.
Sunday morning dawned overcast and with a cool wind. And peals of thunder. I had put my name down for a bushwalk with my local club but, despite the coolness, the thought of strong winds and lightning strikes in tinder dry forest had me wondering, yet again, just what it was I had been thinking. The walk leader spared me the cost of a phone call when he rang to say the walk was cancelled, as it was confirmed to be in a fire zone.
The walk had been planned for Lake Mountain, a few kilometres outside Marysville. Need I say more?
Even as the town died in a conflagration, the weather in Melbourne continued cool and mild, with occasional showers.