Capn's Blog

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Melbourne weather

It's summertime in the southern hemisphere. That means the daytime temperature here in Melbourne is often hot. We've had four hot days in the last week:

DayMax temp

Our old house had air conditioning, but the new house does not. It relies on the two layers of brick in the wall to keep the heat out. This works for one hot day, but if it's two hot days in a row, the house gets very hot inside.

I did find one great way to cool off - a high pressure water sprayer, similar to this one:

It's usually used for cleaning things like concrete and paving stones. But when it's sprayed into the air, it atomises the water to make a very fine mist. You almost can't feel the drops. The mist swirling around you is totally refreshing.

My boys really enjoyed it.

Melbourne's weather has a reputation for being extremely unpredictable. We have a saying: "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes". It's the unpredictability that makes it an interesting place to live. But why is it so unpredictable? One reason is that Australia has a very long south-facing coastline.

According to this
Bureau of Meteorology page, most of our weather comes to us from the west. As the winds travel along the coast, the cool wet air from the ocean has lots of opportunity to mix with the hot dry air from Australia's inland. This creates unstable weather systems which then come to visit us.

After a hot day, we often have a cool change come through. The temperature change can be extreme. For example, here's a temperature chart for last Sunday:

That's a 20C drop in two hours! That sure felt good when it came through.


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