(Can’t believe I’m going to write a blog post about the weather!)
That’s a phrase that we might joke about. Does Queensland get a winter? Yeah…it was on a Wednesday last year.
But seriously… People think that it doesn’t get cold in Queensland. Queenslanders are soft when it comes to dealing with cooler weather. This may be partly true, but let’s put some facts around this.
Queensland is mostly in the tropics. Our summer is far longer than our winter. Our homes are generally built to keep the heat out and let the cool in. When temperatures plummet outside, they plummet inside too. Our shops generally don’t carry as many options for warm clothing as could be found in stores to the south…even from the same retailer. So, we don’t build our homes to suit cold weather and we don’t sell clothes to suit cold weather. We’re a little more exposed to the elements on that front than we might otherwise be.
I was born in Australia but I lived in Ireland for about 3 years. My father was born in Ireland and lived there for about 45 years. He also lived in New York and in Detroit. We often spoke about how we felt colder in Queensland than we ever did in Ireland. He said the coldest he’d ever been was in Brisbane. The homes in colder climates are built to keep you warm. They have central heating. Coats and other forms of outerwear are readily available and made to suit the cooler weather.
Then there’s the relativity angle I want to talk about. Even with a heater on and a nice warm jacket, why does 12° in Brisbane feel so much colder than 2° in Dublin? It’s relative. Think about a temperature range. In Dublin, maximum temperature in a day might be 4 or 5° and then drop only a little to get to an overnight temperature of 0°. However, in Brisbane the maximum in winter could be a balmy 21° which then plummets to an apparent icy cold minimum of 8°. It’s the massive drop from the max to the min which causes that minimum temperature to feel even colder.
Why am I even bothering with this post? Well, I’m sick of people saying how I can’t possibly feel cold at 12° or whatever the temperature is on any given day. Or that I’m a Queenslander so I don’t know what cold is. It’s a pet peeve, I guess. My hobby horse.
That’s my rant. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put on my fluffy onesie and slipper socks. Hurrumph!
P.S. For the record, the worst sunburn I ever got and hottest I think I’ve ever felt was in Gougane Barra, County Cork.