Currently in Melbourne — November 11th, 2022

Currently in Melbourne — November 11th, 2022
HIgh chance of showers and high UV ratings

The weather, currently.

Cloudy with a very high chance of showers.

The rain returns on this cloudy Friday, most likely in the morning. There is a chance of a thunderstorm, and lights southerly winds of 15 to 25 km/h will bring down temperatures of the last few glorious days a few notches to 20°C. Will the potential thunderstorms bring with them the notorious thunderstorm asthma? Forecasts say no at this stage although stay alert if you're at risk. (You can check for updates here.) Minor to moderate flood warnings are back in place for the Yarra and Watts Rivers, as well as across the northern and some southern parts of the state. The weekend forecast will bring more showers increasing through to Sunday, with thunderstorms possible, and possibly severe. Saturday will have a low of 13°C and a top of 21°C. Sunday’s low will be 15°C, and the high 25°C. Despite the clouds and rain, the UV index will also be very high at 9. Whether you use a hat or an umbrella, take cover.

— Megan Herbert

What you need to know, currently.

Extreme heat has caused hundreds of deaths in Texas prisons, new research shows.

The study, which was published in the JAMA Network Open journal last week, showed a noticeable correlation between  lack of air conditioning, and the risk of inmate death, in U.S. prisons. The research also revealed that in Texas, where just one in every three prisons in the state is fully air-conditioned, 271 people have died over the past two decades because of the state’s failure to properly cool their prisons.

These deaths occurred on particularly hot days, where the heat index rose above the location’s 90th percentile. According to the study, the risk of death rose to nearly 15 percent on these days. Each one degree increase in temperature over 85 degrees F (29 degrees C) increased risk of death by 0.7 percent.

And, extreme heat and exhaustion have more health impacts than just death. The risk of heat related illness increases when people are exposed to temperatures that frequently go beyond 100 degrees F (38 degrees C), often reporting dizziness, nausea, heat rashes and muscle cramps.

Temperatures inside Texas prisons have reached as high as 149 degrees F (65 degrees C) in recent years. Historically, the state has seen temperatures anywhere from around 50 degrees F to 90 degrees F (10 to 32 degrees C). However, climate change will lead to hotter, more oppressive temperatures — and more frequent hot days. In fact, more than a third of Texas counties will be subject to more than 50 days with heat above 105 degrees F (41 degrees C), according to data from the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists.

Regardless of these dangerous conditions, Texas lawmakers have failed to advance bills that would fund increased air conditioning in prisons, claiming that there haven’t been any heat-related deaths. This is, of course, a lie.

Texas does require that some inmates — like those in county jails where folks often await trial — have air-conditioning. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards requires that all county jails keep the temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees F (18-29 degrees C).

If similar temperature regulations were enacted in state prisons, it could save lives.

—Aarohi Sheth

What you can do, currently.