Forget frying eggs on the footpath, never mind the new heat index colours, Australia’s record-setting heatwave is so intense that drivers in the outback are unable to refuel their vehicles. Why? Because the petrol evaporates as soon as it’s pumped.
The tiny town of Oodnadatta, located 1000km north of Adelaide, has faced near continuous 45C temperatures over the past week with a 48C peak last Tuesday. “It’s like a wall of fire when you walk outside at the moment,” Mrs Plate, an Oodnadatta resident told The Age. Coincidentally, 45C is also the temperature at which petrol vaporises. As such, drivers looking to refuel have to do so in the early morning hours when temperatures are slightly less sweltering.
Over the last 30 years, Australia has gotten 1C hotter on average. And in Oodnadatta, the mercury has jumped by 0.9C during the day and remains 1.3C hotter at night than it did three decades ago. No wonder some residents have to replace their refrigerators twice a year.