Tomorrow is the first day of Spring. Australia, being a fiercely independent, not to mention remote continent/country, feels no inclination to adhere to the commonly accepted celestial demarcations of the seasons. And judging from the sudden and dramatic change in the weather, they seem to be perfectly justified in this regard. The air is warm and softly perfumed with fragrant blossoms. The sky is clear and bright. United in the sense of pride that comes from having survived another winter, Sydneysiders have contracted a collective case of Spring Fever. The sidewalk cafes and courtyard pubs are bustling with cheery people displaying pale skin.
But, alas the weather forecasts predict a cooling trend and more rain by next week. Of course, I’m not too worried by this, because from my observations, Australian weather forecasters couldn’t predict a splash in a toilet bowl.
Now I know that America has its fair share of weather bimbos on television, but it is possible to find a local weather report delivered by a genuine meteorologist. Oh how I miss Chico’s Dave Vanore and his passionate descriptions of orographic flow, employing data from several models and images to explain the why and how of his predictions. It is a rare forecast here that even shows a satellite image. Most weather maps are cartoons of the continent with little suns all over it, and the forecast is simply “fine with a high of 26 in Darwin” or “mostly fine with a high of 22 in Sydney”. All weather reports include the temperatures in all the major cities, and on channel 7, are typically broadcast from some daggy outback drinking establishment with a name like “The Pub with No Beer” or a dinky town with a name like Grass Patch (Australia’s Yabby Racing Capital.)