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The sunEdit

The sun... Now that's some hot stuff, because of the ozone hole over the south pole, Australia and New Zealand get a lot of UV radiation.

UV radiationEdit

UV radiation is in dangerously high levels in Australia, you can get burned real bad if you are not careful, also if you get burned bad many times you are in danger of getting a skin cancer.

What does UV mean?Edit

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is radiation that is emitted by the sun. It is divided into three sub-sections:

  • UVA
  • UVB
  • UVC

The earth's atmosphere blocks all UVC radiation and all but a small amount of UVB, so the ultraviolet radiation at the earth's surface is mostly UVA and UVB. UVB is the most harmful for humans.

Cancer Council of Australia - SunSmart

UV protectionEdit

In 1981 Australia introduced a new slogan to combat a growing Skin Cancer crisis. The Slip-Slop-Slap campaign, and its mascot Sid the Seagull, warned citizens to;

  • Slip on a shirt
  • Slop on Sunscreen
  • Slap on a hat

More recently the Cancer Council of Australia have ungraded this to the rather lengthy Slip-Slop-Slap-Seek-Slide

  • Slip on some sun protective clothing
  • Slop on SPF30+ sunscreen
  • Slap on a hat
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on some sunglasses

There are also watches, from several manufacturers, that have a UV sensor built in, warning you when have been exposed for too long. However, the best prevention is to know if you are likely to be in danger of being exposed. During the months of Spring to Autumn in Victoria you should check the UV Forecast for your area before venturing out to the beach or park.

Bureau of Meteorology - Daily Victorian UV Forecast

The DroughtEdit

Australia's rainfall is the lowest of the populated continents. Low rainfall combined with very high evaporation leads to low river flow.

Water consumptionEdit

Australia has one of the highest per capita water consumption rates in the world, between 880-940 Megalitres a day. This, combined with a long drought in southern Australia since the early 2000's, means that reservoirs' levels have fallen well below sustainable levels.

Melbourne Water - Reservoirs Levels

Victoria-waterstorage-2007July

Victoria Water Storage - July 2007

As a result water restrictions have been put in place by the Victorian Government. At the time of writing (July 2007) Victoria is under Stage3a Water Restrictions

Water conservationEdit

In Victoria it is important to save water. Houses are equipped with rain water tanks, and grey water is used to water the lawn. In the outback, some houses have their rain water tank as their only water source.

Water restrictionsEdit

{See also main article Water restrictions in Victoria)

Stage 1 water restrictionsEdit

Residential gardens and lawnsEdit

Manual watering

Manual watering systems can be used as required between 6am–8am and 8pm–10pm on alternate days.*

Automatic watering

Automatic watering systems can only be used as required between midnight-4am on alternate days.*

  • Alternate days means odd numbered houses can water on odd dates of the month and even numbered houses can water on even numbered days. For example if you live at 45 Park Street, you can only use your watering system on the 1st, 3rd, 5th etc…of the month. Both odd and even numbered houses can water on the 31st of the month. Where there is no house number the property is considered an even numbered house.

Hand-held hoses

Hand-held hoses with a trigger nozzle, watering cans, and buckets can be used as required at any time.

Vehicle washingEdit

A hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle can be used to pre-rinse and rinse only. A high-pressure water cleaning device and commercial car wash can be used. A bucket filled with a hand-held hose fitted with trigger nozzle or directly from a tap can be used.

Pools and spasEdit

Before filling a new or existing pool or spa of 2000 litres capacity or more, owners must submit a water conservation plan and have it approved by their local water business. This plan must show that the volume of water required to fill the pool or spa will be, or has been, offset by water saved around the home. Only a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can may be used to top up an existing pool or spa. To fill or top up a new or existing pool or spa with a capacity of 2,000 litres or less, a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a watering can or a bucket must be used.


Stage 2 water restrictionsEdit

LawnsEdit

Lawns cannot be watered at any time.

Residential gardensEdit

Manual watering

Manual watering systems can be used as required between 6am-8am and 8pm-10pm on alternate days.*

Automatic watering

Automatic watering systems can be used as required between midnight–4am on alternate days.*

  • Alternate days mean odd numbered houses can water on odd dates and even numbered houses can water on even dates.

Hand-held hoses

Hand-held hoses fitted with a trigger nozzle, watering cans and buckets can be used as required at anytime.

Vehicle washingEdit

Hand-held hoses cannot be used for vehicle washing. A bucket, high-pressure cleaning device or commercial car wash can be used.

Pools and spasEdit

Before filling a new or existing pool or spa of 2000 litres capacity or more, owners must submit a water conservation plan and have it approved by their local water business. This plan must show that the volume of water required to fill the pool or spa will be, or has been, offset by water saved around the home. A hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or a bucket can be used to top up an existing pool or spa. To fill or top up a new or existing pool or spa with a capacity 2000 litres or less, a handheld hose with a trigger nozzle, a watering can or a bucket must be used.


Stage 3 water restrictionsEdit

LawnsEdit

Lawns cannot be watered at any time.

Residential gardensEdit

Manual watering

A manual dripper system, a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, watering cans and buckets can be used as required between 6am–8am and 8pm–10pm*.

Automatic watering

An automatic dripper system can be used as required between midnight-4am*.

  • Even numbered houses can water on Saturday and Tuesday; odd numbered can water on Sunday and Wednesday.
  • Watering is not permitted on Monday, Thursday and Friday.

Vehicle washingEdit

Hand-held hoses and high-pressure water cleaners cannot be used any time for vehicle washing. A bucket filled from a tap can be used to clean windows, mirrors and lights; and spot-remove corrosive substances. A commercial car wash can be used.

Pools and spasEdit

A new pool or spa of any size capacity cannot be filled with drinking water. However, a new or existing swimming pool or spa maybe filled with an alternative source of water such as groundwater.

An existing pool or spa of less than 2,000 litres may be filled by means of a watering can or bucket filled directly from a tap.

An existing pool or spa of greater than 2,000 litres can be filled in accordance with a water conservation plan (contact your local water business for more information). An existing pool or spa can be topped up with a watering can or bucket, filled directly from a tap (not by means of a hose).


Stage 3a water restrictionsEdit

LawnsEdit

Lawns cannot be watered at any time.

Residential gardensEdit

Manual watering

A manual dripper system, a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, watering cans and buckets can be used as required between 6am - 8am*.

Households with at least one resident aged 70 years or over may water their gardens manually as required between 6am - 8am or 8am - 10am.

Automatic watering

An automatic dripper system can be used as required between midnight-2am*.

  • Even numbered houses can water on Saturday and Tuesday; odd numbered can water on Sunday and Wednesday.
  • Watering is not permitted on Monday, Thursday and Friday

Vehicle washingEdit

An efficient commercial car wash that uses 70 litres of water or less per vehicle can be used. A bucket filled from a tap can be used to clean windows, mirrors and lights; and spot-remove corrosive substances.

Pools and spasEdit

A new pool or spa of any size capacity cannot be filled with drinking water. However, a new or existing swimming pool or spa maybe filled with an alternative source of water such as groundwater.

An existing pool or spa of less than 2,000 litres may be filled by means of a watering can or bucket filled directly from a tap.

An existing pool or spa of greater than 2,000 litres must not be filled except in accordance with a water conservation plan (contact you local water business for more information). An existing pool or spa must not be topped up except by means of a watering can or bucket, filled directly from a tap (not by means of a hose).

Stage 4 water restrictionsEdit

Lawns and gardensEdit

Lawns and gardens cannot be watered at any time.

Vehicle washingEdit

A vehicle may only be washed for health and safety reasons. A bucket filled from a tap can be used to clean windows, mirrors and lights; and spot-remove corrosive substances. This also applies to commercial car washes.

Pools and spasEdit

New pools or spa of any size capacity cannot be filled with drinking water. However, a new or existing swimming pool or spa maybe filled with an alternative source of water such as groundwater.

An existing pool or spa of less than 2,000 litres capacity may be filled by means of a watering can or bucket filled directly from a tap (and not by means of a hand-held hose).

An existing pool or spa of greater than 2,000 litres must not be filled except in accordance with a water conservation plan (contact you local water business for more information).

An existing pool or spa must not be topped up except by means of a watering can or bucket, filled directly from a tap (not by means of a hose).

Seasonal weatherEdit

At Tourism Australia has a good map that can show you the climate of Australia, among other things.

The following climate information is from Melbourne Travel Guide site.

Spring (September-November)Edit

SEPTEMBER

September is the first month of spring, which is the most changeable season of the year. A full range of weather may be experienced within a few days, from warm, calm and sunny to cold, windy and showery. There are several cloudy to overcast days. September is another windy month. Most strong winds are from the north, these often occur on the warmer days. There also are occasionally strong cold southwest winds with showery weather. The temperature usually reaches the mid-20s for the first time since April. Nights are cool, frost is fairly rare, and the lowest temperature for the month in the city being about 4ºC. Fog is uncommon. Rainfall is higher in spring than in winter, falling on one day in two. There are days with only a little drizzle or a light shower but heavy rain falls occasionally.


OCTOBER

The changeable weather of spring continues in October, there is greater contrast between the warmer and colder days than in the preceding month. The maximum temperature exceeds 25ºC once a week. However, it also fails to reach 15ºC once a week. There are several cloudy to overcast days and many days are windy. Most strong winds are northerly and warm, but there are occasionally strong cold southwest winds bringing showery conditions. Warm windy weather may be followed by a sudden change to colder conditions with showers. Rain falls on almost one day in two, some of it heavy.


NOVEMBER

Changeable and windy weather continues in November. There is often great contrast in the temperature from day to day. Warm to hot and sunny days and cold and showery days may follow each other in rapid succession. There are also some cloudy to overcast days. Nights are usually mild. Many days are windy. Most strong winds are northerly and warm, however cold showery weather with strong southerly winds can occur. The month's warmest day registers a maximum temperature of about 34ºC while the month's coldest day experiences a maximum temperature of only 16ºC. Some of the most severe storms with gales and rain have occurred at this time of the year.

Summer (December-February)Edit

DECEMBER

The weather is less changeable in December than it is in November, although it still can be quite varied. Cool and cloudy conditions can prevail for some days at a time during which the temperature remains below 20ºC. There are also some hot days, temperatures exceeding 30ºC on about six occasions, but hot weather does not often last for more than two days at a time. There have, however, been occasions when it persisted for much longer. Hot days are sometimes accompanied by an unpleasant north wind, which can be quite strong. On about two days high temperatures are associated with high humidity and there may be thunderstorms in the late afternoon on these occasions. Hot weather often comes to an end with an abrupt cool change when the temperature may fall by about 10ºC in twenty minutes. Some of these changes are accompanied by showers and thunderstorms then followed by strong and cold southwesterly winds. Nights are usually mild yet during hot weather the temperature overnight may not fall below 20ºC. Heavy rain falls on occasions.


JANUARY & FEBRUARY

It is high summer in Melbourne during January and February, a typical day is warm and sunny with a freshening sea breeze arriving from the south in the afternoon. A few days are cool and cloudy, a maximum temperature below 20ºC being recorded about once a week. There are always hot days and the year's highest temperature of about 40ºC is usually recorded during these two months. Some of the hot days are accompanied by an unpleasant north wind, which can be quite strong. Mostly there are only one or two hot days in a row. Occasionally hot weather may continue for three or more days, when the daily appearance of that cool refreshing, north bound sea breeze in the afternoon, becomes that day’s most welcome visitor. The year's warmest night, with a minimum temperature of about 24ºC, is also recorded during these two months. Hot weather normally ends with an abrupt cool change when the mercury may fall by 10ºC in only twenty minutes. Some of these changes are dry and arid; showers and thunderstorms accompany others. High levels of humidity create discomfort on very few days, mostly towards the end of a hot spell. It is not uncommon for a fortnight to pass without rain. On occasions prolonged heavy rain can fall.

Autumn (March-May)Edit

MARCH

March is a transitional month between summer and autumn. Hot weather can be experienced in the first fortnight, when the month's highest temperature of about 35ºC is usually recorded; it may well be accompanied by a strong northerly wind during the day. The hot weather usually comes to an end with a sharp wind change to the southwest and a rapid fall in temperature. Humidity is uncomfortable on about one day only. Many days are mild and sunny although some days are cool and cloudy. A maximum temperature below 20ºC is recorded about twice a week. The afternoon sea breeze is not near as strong as in mid-summer. Nights are noticeably cooler than in the preceding month. Towards the end of March, it is quite common for the overnight temperature to fall below 10ºC on one or two occasions. The month is fairly dry however prolonged heavy rain, falls occasionally.


APRIL

April is a pleasant month, often with spells of fine sunny weather lasting several days during which the temperature occasionally exceeds 25ºC. Every second year 30ºC is exceeded. The nights are quite cool with temperatures falling below 10ºC several times a week. Once in every five years an overnight minimum temperature below 5ºC is recorded. Fog occurs during the early morning on a few occasions but clears to a sunny day. There are usually several days of strong wind; mostly from the north but the average wind speed of 9 kilometres per hour is the lowest of any month. Prolonged heavy rain falls occasionally. In April 1960, 172 mm fell within three days. On the other hand, April 1923 is the only rainless calendar month on record.


MAY

May is an appreciably cooler month. The last instance until spring of temperatures in the low 20s usually occurs in the first fortnight. In May 1904 the temperature exceeded 20ºC on all but two of the first fifteen days. The first frosts of the year occur in the outer suburbs late in the month. In the city itself, the coldest night of the month usually has a minimum temperature of 4ºC, a little too high for frost. Fog occurs on several mornings but both frost and fog are usually followed by a fine and sunny day. This late autumn, early winter period is notable for extended periods of very light winds in Melbourne, although there are a few days of strong wind, mostly from the north. Cloudy and showery weather may persist for some days at a time, but prolonged heavy rain is rare.

Winter (June-August)Edit

JUNE

The weather in June is cold, often with spells of fine and calm weather. There are more days with very light winds in June than in any other month. It is also the foggiest month. Fog usually forms in the late evening and clears by mid-morning, occasionally it may persist for most of the day. Many days are cloudy, June being the cloudiest month of the year. Nights are cold with occasional frosts, mostly in the outer suburbs, the lowest temperature for the month in the city usually being about 2ºC. Rain falls on one day in two and sometimes it is in the form of drizzle in the morning which clears to a fine day. Heavy rain is rare.


JULY & AUGUST

The windiest time of the year in Melbourne begins in July. There may be several days in succession of strong, cold north to northwest winds, often with cloud and some light rain. The weather is frequently cold and cloudy. The few days of calm sunny weather are accompanied by cold nights with frost or fog. Fog usually forms late in the evening and clears by mid-morning, but occasionally persists for the whole day during July. There are usually a few very cold days with strong southerly winds and showers, light snow may fall on the hills within 35 km of the city centre. On rare occasions, snow even falls in the city. The year's coldest day, with a maximum temperature of about 9ºC, usually occurs during July. Some rain falls on an average of one day in two; on some of these days there may be only a little drizzle or a light shower. The highest number of wet days in any one-month in the city is twenty-seven, in August 1939. However, heavy rain is rare at this time of the year. In late August there are some warmer days, when the temperature usually reaches 20ºC for the first time since May.

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