ICB: Hey weatherman, just tell me if I need a jacket!
I freely admit that in the past few years I’ve remained unable to acclimatise properly to this beautiful country’s extremes, occasionally moaning either about the heat or the cold—when back home I’d break out the deckchair and whack a hanky on my head the minute the clouds broke.
At present we’re at the start of an Australian winter. For me, that should rightly be like an English summer. And while there are some truly gorgeous days cropping up now and then, you just can’t tell how it’s going to pan out.
My main beef is with the wind chill factor. Or lack of it. That’s right, people who report the weather, I said wind. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s out there, even now, blowing shit around.
You can cry ‘science!’ as much as you want. It doesn’t change the fact that you told me it was a sunny 23 degrees, when in reality the howling Antarctic gale has dropped that considerably and now I’m cutting the commuters on the packed train to shreds with my knife-like nipples because I dared put on a t-shirt.
Only a meteorologist would give a damn what the ‘actual’ temperature is. The rest of humanity just wants to know whether or not they need to bring a coat.
Look, I can get on board, if there is some great Australian conspiracy against wind that hasn’t yet been explained to me. I can adapt, reluctantly, if need be. I’ve already become used to the fact that despite being a country of such extremes, there are no standards for housing to come with air conditioning or central heating.
You’re tough. Much tougher than me. I’ve learned to accept that. But at the very least can you spice up the weather map symbols a bit? Sun and clouds don’t cover it. Maybe back in the UK, where it’s either raining or not. But Australian weather is far too clever.
So, to the Grant Denyers and Steve Jacobses of the world, if you won’t bow to the wind chill factor, at least consider these new categories to prepare us properly for what awaits:
1. White Sun—“Looks nice out there, doesn’t it? It’s not. Wear a balaclava.”
2. Crying Sun—“Blue sky and raining. You figure it out, we can’t.”
3. Pink Cloud—“It’s dark, but you will burn. Take sunscreen.”
4. Red Cloud—“Sydney, meet Uluru. Try not to breathe.”
5. A Microphone—“Impending disaster. You are about to be inundated with reporters.”
And if all else fails, a big splat with a question mark will do: “We don’t know enough to even try and bullshit you today. Wear a coat over your boardies. Bring a sled.”
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