Australian heat wave

Phew! I see Australia has just had its hottest day on record - 40.9C (national average).

In almost British levels of understatement the Bureau of Meteorology described it as “extensive” heat!

Take care in the sun!


I get a bit cranky with those “slow news day” stories. We hit 50 C twice last summer, and never even made the local news! We’ve been above 40.9 C here every day for the past 2 weeks. Not a whole lot of SOTA going on around here!
John VK4TJ

Yep, plenty of fire activty about to stop anything like a SOTA activation happening:

Photo credit: Supplied: Gena Dray and ABC News.

I have been applying my radio knowledge (how to log and pass urgent messages fast) and working 12 hour shifts as a comms operator in a number of fire control centers in NSW along with a number of other VK1 and VK2 SOTA operators.



I, for one, am proud of you, Compton. You are upholding the best traditions of amateur radio. Good on ya!


After a weekend of 40+C everyday in Perth, this coming weekend will be a shock to the system as I will be in Ireland for Xmas and New Year and seeing 6C for Sunday when I last looked. Hope to Activate Cornasaus EI/IE-054 on Sunday morning. First time in over 30 years that I have experienced these sort of temps.

Will be a shock to the system.


I also experienced such temps when I lived in Aranjuez-Madrid (2006-2012) and it’s too much. Being in the swimming pool is the only way to withstand that. But one can’t be all day in a swimming pool… That’s, among other reasons, why I left and got back to my birth land in the cooler and rainier North of EA.

You will definitely have to pack a totally different clothing than what you must be using these days.

We’ve got 5 QSOs in 2014, 2 in 2015 and 1 S2S QSO in 2017. Nothing else since then. I’ll be looking forward to chasing you when in EI, John.

Have a good flight and a great Christmas time in EI.



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Yes Guru, be great to get you in the log again.

Have a good Xmas also.


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Swimming Pools On The Air anyone? SPOTA! Now we just need some waterproof radios.

Take good care VK friends. I can’t even imagine living in those temps. We are extreme heat wimps here in W7W land… it gets above 30C here maybe one week of August per year, and people can not cope.

Sending cool thoughts your way…




Update from the BOM for Thursday and Friday.

Australia’s heatwave registers new hottest day on record, BOM says

The worst is yet to come, Saturday in VK1 is forecast for a top of 43 degrees C accompanied by strong northerly winds… Next week offers little respite with temps in the high 30s.

Andrew VK1AD

Mt Tomah, VK2/CT-043

Thanks Brian. A number of us are members of WICEN in Australia it is the equivalent of RAYNET. We do all sorts of fun stuff as well as provide comms operators to our emergency services when they have exceeded their own capacity.

Ditto John (though less of a shock for me coming from N Yorkshire). I’m hoping to get out in the Mournes one day, maybe catch you on air.
Have a great holiday and chill out :wink:

Dramatic Compton. My thoughts are with those affected by these fires

Today around 11 am, firefighters dealing with a new major fire south-west of Sydney on the fringe of Sydney suburbs. Temp is approximately 42 C.

State of emergency declared as blazes flare in extreme heatwave.

Andrew VK1AD


I am curious, are these fires human set or by lightning?

A combination, but mostly by dry lightning strikes. Unfortunately we do have some in our community who do accidently and worse still deliberately start fires.

A grass fire near here recently was started by someone flicking a cigarette butt out of his car window. Fortunately the fire services jumped on it very quickly so it only burned along a short section of the Hume motorway, but it also burned a few hectares of adjacent farmland. It’s out now.

Unfortunately stupidity is not illegal, but such thoughtless acts can result in absolute devastation with conditions as hot and dry as they are, and with considerable fuel loads in many places due to lack of hazard reduction burning during the cooler/wetter months.

No SOTA for me until this all calms down but a big shout out to all you WICEN volunteers for what you’re doing to support the RFS, CFA etc. By the way and in case our non-VK readers didn’t know, most of the firefighters out there are also volunteers. Yep - they put their lives on the line, and they don’t get paid for it.

Heading for 44 degrees today. What a good job it is that a former Prime Minister told us that climate change is “absolute crap”, otherwise I might be worried.


Bernard VK2IB

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It’s been covered extensively in Australian news media but it’s worth noting that on 19th December 2019 two of those volunteers died when their truck was hit by a falling tree.

It’s a serious business.

Seems the only time I get to catch up with you @VK2HRX is at fire control centres! Was good to see you! Terrible reason…

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I heard on the grapevine today that a WICEN member and fellow HAM in his role as a NSW RFS volunteer fire fighter was in a fire truck that had a burn over yesterday. Thats where the fire surrounds the truck, burns over the top of it and the fire fighters have to shelter inside the truck with external sprinklers running that try to cool the truck so it doesnt burn. He and the rest of his crew survived.

Definately serious business.