HEAT WAVES 10 Oct 1899. ‘The hot winds and dust storms of the interior are in some respects, peculiar to Australia.’
HEAT WAVES. (1899, October 10). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), p. 4. Retrieved October 27, 2020, from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/113689640#
Yesterday a large part of New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory, and Victoria had an unpleasant experience in the shape of a hot wind, which during some special gusts in creased to the velocity of a gale.
Hot winds and dust storms are visitations which will probably one day lead to civil war between the provinces. Residents of the different colonies all inform the perspiring and panting stranger that the heat is nothing compared to what he would experience if he unfortunately happened to be located in the neighboring province.
For a long time Queensland traded on a bold assertion that hot winds were unknown, in that colony. “Ours is a moist heat, we admit,” a Brisbaneite would explain to a gasping new arrival; “but then we have no hot winds like the other colonies.” All the time a blast like a reek from the pit “where sinful souls are stewing” would be puffing up the street.
That fiction has, however, had to be abandoned, and Queenslanders now admit that the wind is at times a little warm in the summer time. A hot wind in Adelaide, blowing up the broad expanse of King William-street, is about as sultry an experience as anyone could wish for; but one must on no account mention such a thing to a South Australian.
Perth, with its sandy environments, can work up as hot a day as any city; but unless you admire the temperate climate there you will be accused of Jealousy.
As for Melbourne, well, except on rare occasions, a Melbourne man will tell you it is never very hot in Melbourne.
In the face of yesterday’s record, then, we in Sydney will have to be an exception, and own up to an occasional blast of hot wind. An experience of yesterday will fully explain the circumstances under which Sturt wrote what has been looked upon as an exaggerated description of a hot wind experienced in Central Australia.
Bad enough as it is in a city, with means of palliating the heat the hand, what must it be like to tired men and jaded horses, in an almost shadeless country, with but a little luke warm water in their canteens to slake their thirst.
Eyre, too, had some experience of a hot wind at the head of the Great Bight, when he had to cower all day with the black boy, under the scanty shade of a mulga bush, finding it impossible to move on. The hot winds and dust storms of the interior are in some respects, peculiar to Australia. Often, they are accompanied by a thunderstorm, a rainless storm, and, in some districts, the red dust that sweeps ahead of the electric storm, changes the apparent color of the lightning from vivid white to burning red, and in the dusk created by the sand storm the red glare reminds one of the red fire formerly burnt at the wings of transpontine theatres when the devil made his appearance.