Thursday, 11 February 2010

Historical climate records

This weather is getting me down. Now that I am no longer working (read it to mean that I'm now no longer enjoying the free air-conditioning in my former workplaces), I am suffering almost every day from the heat of the afternoon sun. I would estimate the temperature at about 35 Celsius. It's the traditional Chinese New Year heatwave allright, not only in Penang but also in many parts of the Malayan peninsula.

Idle minds are dangerous, and my mind is presently so idle that I have all sorts of idling ideas. Chiak pah siao eng, my wife would be telling me if she reads this. Luckily I don't expect her to read this until well after next week. I have a week's respite. Anyway, my idling mind was asking me recently whether or not I could remember how the weather condition was like when I was born. My first reaction was to knock my own head. Siao! As if anyone could remember the very first moments of his life, let alone his very first day. Was it hot? Was it wet? Was it .... snowing?

Anyway, I soon found that that the amount of information we can find on the Internet nowadays is so staggeringly large and varied, unlike my initial experience on the Internet way back in the early 1990s. And not surprisingly, I could find the historical records of the weather in Penang .... as far back as January 1949. Of course in those days, the meteorological department in Bayan Lepas was not keeping daily records yet, so there weren't any records for many months and many days. Or maybe they did but the old records have gone missing. Nevertheless, the nearest available data was two days after I was born. So yes, I can clearly imagine now. I was feeling rather comfy at that time because the maximum daytime temperature never went beyond 27.8 Celsius. The night was equally nice too as I enjoyed a cool air of about 22.8 Celsius. The moon was waxing and from my cot, there was excitement in my little heart as the full moon was only three days away. As I laid back in warm comfort in my cot, I was listening to a slight pitter patter of rain outside the window but on the next day, I was so scared when a thunderstorm dumped 26.92 millimetres of rain on Penang. I remember calling out to my mum in baby language: "Mummy, where are you?"

Okay, okay, enough of my daydream for now. But you know what I mean. You can get such unimaginable details from the Internet nowadays. But whether or not such records are useful to us in our daily lives is debatable. Nevertheless, it is nice to know that they are available IF we were to need them for whatever reason!

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