Everybody calm down. Summer is not over yet.
Well it's not. It's March 1 this hump day, and in Australia, we mark the seasons by the months. So according to assorted apps and calendars and weather guys and girls on TV, today marks the first day of autumn.
Which is all very convenient, but it's technically wrong. Our southern hemisphere summer actually runs from the longest day of the year (around December 21) until the solstice (the 24-hour period of equal day and night in most parts of the globe, around March 21).
Temperature records and our anecdotal experience back this up too. Think about it. It's rarely truly hot for more than the odd day here or there until the end of December. And it usually stays hot until at least mid March.
As if to remind us that summer is still here, Melbourne is heading for 32 degrees this Wednesday, while Adelaide is expecting 37 -- in the first of at least seven straight days of expected 30-plus maximums.
Sydney and Brisbane? Ah, now that's an interesting one. Sydney in particular is having a very wet week, but that's actually directly related to the current very summery weather pattern.
Unlike Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane get the bulk of their rainfall in the warmer months. It's an east coast thing, and the current weather map illustrates that really well. Can't read a weather map? Fear not, we'll make it easy for you.
See the red arrow? It shows how moist air from the sea is being fed straight onto the east coast. Air circulates anti-clockwise around a High (the H thing centred near New Zealand).
This is a fairly typical summer pattern. Highs often park themselves south of Australia in summer before drifting north in winter.
This system has pretty much stalled too, which means the east coast is in for a drenching courtesy of a steady onshore flow of air being sucked up off the lovely warm waters off the NSW coast.
So that's that. Still lots of warm water in the ocean (it's still 18-20 around much of the Victorian coastline too) and plenty of warm weather around where it's not raining.
Bottom line: You can keep the woollies in the closet for now, though if you live in Sydney or Brisbane, definitely keep the brolly handy.Suggest a correction