Perth morgues are full and SW WA has been unseasonally cold – coincidence?
During the last weekend in July, Perth experienced an unusually high number of deaths, putting pressure on the state’s mortuaries. All facilities are full, according to the ABC.
Curiosity piqued, I checked Perth’s weather data for unseasonal cold. Sure enough, during June and July, Perth and the rest of south west WA had experienced cold conditions, not seen in Perth for 13 years and longer elsewhere. This linked article was published in mid July. In the last three weeks of July, daily temperatures were below 10 degrees on 3, 4 and 3 days, respectively preceding the last weekend of July.
Was it the the poor, the aged and the infirm filling the mortuaries, after repeated, unseasonal cold snaps? Has an overall warmer climate not insulated people from such events? The average temperature at Perth Airport is 13°C and for July was 11°C; perhaps there are some bad respiratory diseases around making things worse.
Cold remains dangerous for the vulnerable in southern winters. At this range of temperature, contrasts in temperature are the largest risk to vulnerable people, rather than absolute temperatures themselves.