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Whither weather?

When I went to school…admittedly a long time ago and in England…we were taught that the seasons changed around the 19/21 of a month. It was something to do with the sun, as many things on this earth are. But it seems that someone in Australia decided some time ago that was too difficult and the new season should officially start on the first of a month.

Which is why we had people on the electronic media twittering on March 1 that summer seemed to have ended surprisingly quickly. Then, the next day, we were told the Australian Institute said Australian summers had become up to fifty-percent longer than they were in the middle of the 19 th - century, based on the recordings for the first day of each calendar month of a seasonal change. One electronic media outlet said is seemed summer weather would last until March 19 this year! Being now, and for a long time, in Australia, I checked my Macquarie (rather than Oxford) Dictionary and see that it says autumn begins on the March 21 equinox. Real summer lasts until then. So, when did Australia decide to officially change seasons three weeks ahead of the rest of the world, and why? And does it have any impact on the researchers comparing seasons now with those of umpteen years ago before that change took place?

That aside, the Institute says it made its calculations on records from weather records in various parts of Australia in the 1950s and ‘60s. But were those recordings actually made in the same places as now? Until not that many years ago, certainly in those years, weather recording for Moruya took place at the old Post Office on the corner of Page and Campbell Streets. Now they are gleaned at the Airport and many of us know that there can be quite a few degrees difference between those places on many days. It seems not all that unlikely there are more instances of that, including Sydney perhaps. These days when it seems Sydney now includes Gosford, Wollongong, Picton, Windsor and

Penrith we have heard that high temperatures attributed to “Sydney” were actually recorded at poor old Penrith. In the 1960s, though my memory could be wrong, Sydney’s weather recording was checked in a place near the Harbour Bridge.

I’m just wondering. Eric Wiseman.

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