Goodness it was chilly coming into work today! The minimum overnight temperature got down to 3.7 this morning (38.7F), which is very cold by Sydney standards: link
Yep. Ice on the car this morning. Cat wouldn’t get out of bed it was so cold.
Heh. It’s mid-summer here, and we got down to 40F (4.4 Celsius) the other night. 38.7 isn’t even cold, you silly upside-down warm-weather people!
But it’s a DRY cold.
It’s a little hard to get sympathy out of North Americans who regularly experience temperatures at sub-zero, but a morning just above freezing in Sydney really can suck. Trust me on this. It’s because our society is not geared for it. Our houses tend to be of flimsy construction, and don’t have basements or furnaces. Many Sydneysiders would have been huddled around a small portable radiator last night. We don’t have engine block heaters or special fuel and oil in our cars. Our bus stops and railway stations are open and windswept, and frankly many people just don’t own the right clothes for this sort of event. I’ll be struggling to find them myself when I go to work today (why spend hundreds on fleecy-lined Arctic coats that get worn about once a year?), so it’ll be layering again for me.
Of course, we have nobody but ourselves to blame for this lack of preparation in a city which can and does get cold, but we’ve probably decided it’s better to suffer for a few days than to spend the billions it would require to bring our city and infrastructure up to, say, Canadian standards.
A freezing day in Canada or the northern US is probably much easier to handle than a day ten degrees above freezing in Sydney. I think it would have got down to about freezing point last night here at my house. It happens now and then.
That said, I like the cold in a way.
“Reader Christian Leek had to scrape one-millimetre thick ice off his windscreen in Newington this morning”
My god, how did he even make it to work?
If that’s your idea of a cold snap, that’s it, I’m moving to Sydney.
(I feel just a bit ashamed.) I am in Dizzy Brizzy at the moment. It is the depths of winter, and we are in the middle of a cold snap, in local terms (really). That means it’s 19 C outside (67 F), the sun is bright and the sky an intense blue. I was forced to make a tough, winter call this morning - do I wear a light pullover or not bother? Simply brutal. Man was not meant to deal with this level of Nature’s savagery.
“You like cold in a way”? You* like* it?
You…you spoiled…derogatory comment for an Australian!!!
Seriously, though, if you want some cold, I can give you some cold.
I like the cold too- ironic, given that I live in a state famous for beaches, palm trees, and hot weather.
Even more ironic: I don’t like hot weather.
No, I’m not sure why I’m still here, either. :smack:
We were welfare kids who walked to school when it was -40C. That’s not new, but one time my friend hopped over a divider and his shoe basically shatttered. The whole top just exploded like glass. Stupid Wal-Mart-y plastic shoes.
People from colder climes have trouble believing this until they experience it, but every word TLD says is spot on. Brisbane is even worse. I knew a guy from freakin’ Winnipeg who said he’d never been colder than he regularly was in Brisbane because we have no heating whatsoever, and whatever the temp is outside, that’s pretty much what it is inside.
A recent arrival here from the UK who is an aquaintance of Mrs Princhester has been whinging about the same thing*.
*Well, you Poms always whinge. What I mean is, he’s been whinging about the cold beyond just the usual background level of whinge.
Mind you I have marvelled over this a few times in my life. I was mostly raised in Canberra and when I moved to Sydney the first several Winters seemed like shirt sleeve weather to me.
Later when I had kids it use to amaze me that they would play under the tap in winter and play under the doona in summer. And until they get older they never mention the temperature/weather - it just is what it is.
Oh I think Aussies can whinge with the best of them. The biggest moaner I ever knew was an Australian guy over here doing highly paid contract IT work. He never stopped complaining about all aspects of British life. Traffic and roadworks in particular. Couldn’t seem to grasp that when you have 60 million people in an area the size of Victoria, it can get a little crowded. It took great resolve sometimes to resist the urge to enquire why he didn’t just fuck off back to Australia.
Up here we dream of 3.7. It was 0.6 here at 7pm and it’s dropped in the last couple of hours. It’s been snowing steadily all day, there’s about 4cms of snow on the ground.
This is about 3kms down the road from me, it’s pretty much what my top paddock looks like:
And this is the road I drive from work to home, taken this afternoon:
Road from where I work to where I live, taken this afternoon:
don’t ask, humor an ignorant American – what’s a doona?
My husband grew up in far northern Minnesota, where the temperature routinely went down to -40C (or F, the two scales intersect there), and he finds all complaints of lesser cold amusing. That said, he also moved as far away from it as he could. He does have wonderful stories of folks from Florida or the Phillippines trying to cope with Minnesota winters, however.
Argh, forgot to include the rest of my post. I’ve actually been colder in Southern California or south Louisiana than I have in far colder climates because, like the OP, those places don’t build properly for genuine cold. And having the proper clothing makes a huge difference; fortunately, I had leftovers from my life in real winters when I lived in warmer places, making me one of the few who could dress properly for the cold.
I’m Sydney-born, and where I live now I’ve had the temperature go down to sub-zero on the Fahrenheit scale – that’s below -18 C on the other scale. That does feel significantly colder than anything I’ve ever experienced in Sydney.
Yes, the thought of livign in an area that gets snowy weather withoug central heating or at least good insulation and a properly-sealed house strikes me as nuts.
I can authoritatively state that the coldest-feeling, most miserable weather is when it’s a couple of degrees above freezing and wet. That sucks heat out of you faster than -10 and dry. You can get by with warm socks, hat, and mitts, a decent jacket, and a really substantial sweater over your regular clothes if it’s -10 and dry and still; try that at +2 and wet and you will chill.
And +2, wet, and windy is worse.
This is November-in-Toronto weather: between fall and winter, when it just gets colder and the days get shorter and it rains a lot, but before the snow sticks for good. It’s our most depressing month. I’m always nrelieved when the real cold hits after Christmas, and the sunshine returns. It’s cold, but it’s bright and dry.
Update: my Australian co-worker has just educated me about the way of building houses in Sydney: apparently they’re built to be drafty for internal moisture control during hot and humid times, plus have wide overhanging roofs to shed sunlight and keep cool around the edges.
If this is true, I can see where temperatures of +2 would be a real problem.
Sure thing, but it’s not just a matter of a scale of coldness. What I’m talking about is bleakness, which isn’t something you’ll see on a weather report. -18 in North America might have you inside with central heating and double glazing, and a hot chocolate. +1 in Sydney might find you wishing you owned more warm clothes as you try to stop your umbrella from blowing inside out while your face is lashed by a mean, stinging rain as you wait for your bus shivering.
There’s nothing romantic, pretty, or cosy about winter in Sydney. It’s not record breaking in any way, but it sure is cold, wet, grey, bleak, and miserable.
Mama Tiger, a doona is a comforter.
I know I’ve said this before on the boards, but the coldest night I ever spent was the first night we arrived in Australia in June 2004. It got down in the 40’s that night and we were in the basement room of our friends multi-million dollar house just north of Sydney. They had no central heat, one tiny little portable heater in the room down the hall, and they gave us two little thin blankets to keep warm. There was no insulation in the windows to speak of. My husband, son and I huddled together to to keep each other warm.
When we rented our first Australian house shortly after that, we were in even more dire circumstances. It was a Queenslander-style house, on stilts. There was zero insulation and there were, in fact, vents in the walls to the outside to promote air-circulation. We could look through the cracks in the hardwood flooring and see the car port down below the house. No central heating (or air). At least I had the good sense to buy the warmest down comforters I could find. I also got a ton of use out the wool sweaters I’d shipped all the way from the U.S. and that my husband insisted were too warm for the Sydney climate. Ha! What is it with Sydneysiders and their delusions that they live in the tropics?