Sydney people are such sooks about the weather
You know you’ve officially become a Sydneysider when you become obsessed with “The Southerly”. When’s it due? Why hasn’t it got here yet? It’s reached the airport - bloody-well hurry up.
In Sydney, having the Bureau of Meteorology as your homepage is not considered weird.
We’ve been bitching and moaning for months about how wet it is, how cold it is, how we wanted to spend Christmas at the beach but it raaaaiiined. Then yesterday in Sydney we had our first day over 30 degrees for the summer, and last night it didn’t get down below 25.5 degrees at Observatory Hill. You’d think this event would be welcomed with wild celebrations yes? Not in Sydney. Today we’re all soooo tiiiirrred because none of us could sleep properly.
Do they carry on like this in Adelaide when the city is in the grip of one of its endless vine-drooping, grass-browning summer heat waves? What about Canberrans during the months on end they spend scraping ice off their windscreens with a credit card? Are they nearly as painful as Sydneysiders after one night of 25.5 degrees?
My theory is we’re so precious about the weather because so many of Sydney’s charms are based on the outdoors. When the sun is shining and it’s 28-degrees and you’re in the general vicinity of the harbour or one of the beaches, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
But when it rains, or is too cold, or is too hot, or is too dry, or too humid, everything stops working. In the wet Sydney’s roads suffer a double whammy, firstly everyone forgets how to drive properly, then we all - every single one of us - get in our cars. The result is not pretty.
Our strategy to deal with winter is to ignore it. Restaurants put gas heaters out on the street and we still sit outside. A “winter wardrobe” is three layers of summer clothes. And fireplaces are generally decorative. Our coping mechanism is to pretend it doesn’t exist while waiting for spring.
This is fine if summer does actually start, which it hadn’t until yesterday. As I write this it is 24.7 degrees at Observatory Hill, so summer lasted one day, and still we barely coped.
Ant Sharwood has a more scientific theory.
The difference in average temperature between Sydney’s coolest month and hottest month is less than 10 degrees. The average daily maximum in July is 16.3 degrees, in January, it’s 25.9 degrees.
In other words our climate is about as cushy as it comes.
Compare that to Chicago, where the difference in average temperatures between the coldest and hottest months is 29.9 degrees. You’d get whacked in Chicago for complaining about 25.5 degrees at night.
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