Cooling off

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. In my humble opinion, it’s going to have to be a pretty detailed photo for someone to wax lyrical for 1000 words about it though.

Still, sometimes words aren’t the only way that a photograph’s worth can be measured. How about feelings? Not emotions: I don’t believe in them, since I’m a tough, macho Yorkshireman.
I’m talking about my interaction with my immediate environment.

And this photograph from FOTB Chris Wormwell:

I’m currently sitting in an office which is slightly hotter than the Sahara, because the person I’m sharing it with appears to be cold-blooded like some sort of reptile, but all I need to do to feel a little cooler is look at Chris’ Glen Mooar image above.

It’s only a temporary fix though, and we’re going to have to reach some sort of compromise over the aircon soon – especially with summer right around the corner now. It’s not likely to be cooler anytime soon and I have to wear these clothes for two days because of the water shortages.

And I am MELTING! 

[looks at photograph above again]
Ah! That’s better.

We Put This Thermometer In The Sun In Cape Town. You Won’t Believe What Happened Next.

It’s a hot day in Cape Town. This happens fairly regularly around this time of year, this being Cape Town and it being summer. Today was meant to get to 38 or 39ºC, depending on whom you chose to believe. But when we hung a calibrated and certified thermometer out of our lab window, we got a temperature of 41.1ºC.

This was in the shade, but it was obviously not in a Stevenson Screen – the official vented white box, 1.5m from the ground, which provides the standard conditions (in the shade, out of the wind, away from surfaces radiating heat etc) for measuring weather. But we don’t have a Stevenson Screen. We were just messing around hanging a thermometer out of a second floor window while we should have been working eating our lunch.

And then we hung it in the sun. Now, to be in the sun, it did have to be a bit closer (within 30cm, perhaps) to a wall which had also been in the sun, but still – if you were where the thermometer was at 12:46pm this afternoon, this is what you would have been experiencing:



So no, despite my scientific leanings, this wasn’t scientific.
But our quick and dirty experiment does seem to indicate that Cape Town is bloody hot today.

Drink much, stay safe.


Lunchtime football at the height of Cape Town summer has killed me.
Almost literally.

I’ll be back tomorrow, assuming I make it through the night.

Calibration is key

There’s no point in firing off pictures of your car’s thermometer reading (or any other thermometer reading in fact) and just expecting us to believe what it says. For a genuine and accurate measurement, you need a laboratory thermometer calibrated by the Cape Metrology Centre and then you need to pop it outside at ten past three on a Tuesday afternoon and see what happens.

Which is this:

It should probably be noted that we actually got a high of 50.9°C, but were too slow with the camera. However, with another scorcher on offer tomorrow and records to be broken, there may be a case for doing a repeat reading during our lunch break, when it may be even hotter.

As eagle-eyed readers will note, our Thermamite 1 is very capable of taking on up to four times what the South African sun can throw at it, infra-red wise.

(You should see what the Thermamite 2 can do…)

So we’re completely ready for tomorrow: Bring it on! (just as long as we can skulk back to the safety of our air-conditioned laboratory immediately afterwards. Thanks.)

UPDATE: Repeated experiment at 1300 CAT the following day yields unsurprising result:

And yes, obviously that’s in the sun – just like those cricketers down the road are…

Too much

I do enjoy summer here in the Cape, but today was too much.

My English enzymes can’t cope in these sorts of temperatures and have to be cooled and revived with a special mixture of Castle Milk Stout and Castle Milk Stout. The first four didn’t seem to get through, but after another four I fell into the pool and felt much better.

Later, we headed to the beach with the rest of Cape Town and enjoyed the sea breeze and our square metre of sand, most of which was dug up by Alex and deposited on his sister.
The place quietened down as the sun ducked behind the mountains and the temperature suddenly plummeted to a chilly 34°C and we headed home to the beer fridge.

NOTE: Already been asked several times: this temperature was outside, in the shade, out of the (slight) breeze.
We were happy at 34-35°C, then it suddenly leapt to this peak and then dropped back to 38°C after about 10 minutes.
Cape Town weather is weird.