Four seasons in one day... Melbourne, the place of crazy weather

Two hours ago the temperature here was 36°C, the sky was a clear hot blue and there was very little breeze to cool us down. Now the temperature is 18°C, the sky is heavily clouded and there is a howling gale blowing. A pretty normal weather change for Victoria, really.

I’m sure you’ve heard or read the cliché about Melbourne – “Four seasons in one day”, well it’s not far from the truth, as the change I’ve mentioned above will attest! And it happens all the time. It’s not a ‘once-a-year’ event like Ground Hog Day or Christmas, it doesn’t ally itself to a particular season or the state of the tides, the moon has no affect on it and certainly ‘global warming’ is not involved.




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‘Melbourne Weather’ was going on long before the bright sparks in Canberra discovered the ‘warming’ as their present favourite disaster cause. In fact of course, Melbourne Weather was going on long before Melbourne itself existed! I wonder if our forefathers were aware of the phenomenon, as they built all the wonderful old buildings that go to make up the city. Had they known, would Melbourne ever have come into existence, or would they simply have looked on it as a challenge? Who can say?

In actual fact of course, the weather pattern in and around the city is pretty simple when compared to many other places, places that, for some reason, haven’t gained the notoriety Melbourne enjoys. Take Great Britain for instance, a country just about the same size as Victoria and a country which, unlike Victoria, has hundreds of different spoken accents, whereas Victoria really only has one, the good old ‘Aussie’ accent (if ‘new Australians’ aren’t taken into account). And the pattern is much the same with the weather. In England it can be snowing in the north while the southeast is suffering a severe drought and the south-west is inundated with floods, and the Midlands are just their usual shade of grey. The weather patterns can be so localised that it can practically be raining in one street, while the next one is bathed in sunshine! (OK, I’m exaggerating a bit, but it makes my point!).

In Victoria, the weather comes in much larger ‘slabs’ than the tiny microclimates of the UK, so that bigger areas are affected simultaneously; but the result is much the same – quick and surprising changes, sometimes within hours of each other. The people of Melbourne are used to the way the weather acts of course, and they are skilled at being ready for anything that comes along, carrying rainwear in their pockets, (the lightweight plastic kind), while going out in shorts and tops because it is so hot in the sun. It makes for interesting living!

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I’ve learned, after twenty-six years of living in Victoria, to adjust to the changes of weather, just as the locals have; it has become just a normal part of our lives and we now take little notice of it. One of the things I really do like about living way down here in the far south of Australia, with only Tasmania between the Antarctic, and us is the seasonal progression. These completely over-ride the mini weather changes I’ve been writing about until now and they provide us with our warm summers and cool winters. I guess it’s partly because I originate from England, but I do need there to be genuine seasons throughout the year, with autumn leaves falling all around, a bit of frost in mid winter, (I can live without the snow!), a frost that helps to kill off last year’s bugs, then spring with everything bursting back into new life and finally the heat of summer, when rheumatism doesn’t hurt so much and lighter, fewer clothes can be worn.

I’m sure the weather is wonderful ‘up north’, but the only seasons there seem to be ‘hot and dry’, then ‘hot and wet’, which I don’t translate as genuine seasonal changes at all, just a slight adjustment to the perfection! Good on ya, Melbourne weather!


When you go to Melbourne, what do you pack to deal with the crazy weather? If you live in Melbourne, do you love the unpredictable weather?