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Melbourne - A City of All Seasons (At Once!)

by Caroline Seawright

 

What to Wear in Melbourne

If you ever decide to go to Melbourne, Australia and want to know what clothes to pack, this will give you a basic idea of what to bring.

Melbourne is not a city known for its stable weather patterns. In fact, it's been described by locals as a city of "four seasons in one day", a city where you "wait five minutes and the weather will change", and "beautiful one moment, crap the next".

Often it's a case of multiple weather conditions in the same day, never mind the same week!

For instance, today it was cloudy, cool and had been raining in the morning. Not cold, just cool and grey. Now, by lunch time, I see sunshine outside. I haven't been out, yet, as I'm at work, but I'll bet you anything that it's a whole lot warmer. What will this evening bring? More rain? Clear skies and heat, as it did yesterday? A thunderstorm?

Who really knows? It could be anything, it could stay sunny or it could pour with rain.

Melbourne's summer thunderstorms usually occur when it's been really hot, and the cool change happens. The last cool change that came really ripped us off - we didn't get a cool thunderstorm with it! That was upsetting, because I always look forward to them (even if I do have to get offline...)

I remember once, when walking home from the station, instead of the usual thunder, lightning and rain storm, we had a funky electrical storm... with all this wind, thunder and lightning, but no rain! It felt funny, but was so cool! Anyway...

That's a typical summers day in Melbourne.

What about a typical summers week?

Well, this week had temperatures (in Celsius) ranging from the high 30ºs to the low 20ºs! We've had boiling hot, sunny days... days with rain... neutral, cloudy weather... and lots of wind. Some days I've wished I'd brought along my winter coat. Others I wanted to wear a t-shirt.

Melbourne's weather stations are more like a lottery than something you can rely on, too. They should really be saying "Tomorrow's weather MIGHT BE..." rather than "Tomorrow's weather will be..."

So when you come to Melbourne, make sure to bring at least one of everything - a coat, a t-shirt, bathers for swimming, a jumper to keep yourself warm, an umbrella, jeans, shorts, a long sleeved shirt or dress, a short sleeved shirt or dress, summer and winter pantyhose...

But one thing that you don't really have to worry about is snow. It's only snowed once, in my memory, in the city, and that was freak weather. I didn't see it myself (I was out in the suburbs at the time), but you don't need to worry about it.

And you don't have to worry about tornadoes, twisters, hurricanes or tsunamis either. We did have a mini tornado a little while back, which lasted for only a few moments, but managed to destroy some stuff... but that, too, was freak weather! It was a howling gale everywhere, that evening... but a mini twister? We couldn't believe it. But you really don't have to worry about that, either.

Nor do you have to worry about volcanos or earthquakes (we have very few, and the ones we have, are very small, mostly you can barely feel them. The last one I remember (and I only remember two that I've felt in my life!) was while I was at work, and thought a jet went overhead. But apparently that was the 'quake.

We do have floods, though. The flash flood just before Christmas was an odd one, though. The shops near my place almost got flooded out in a very short time!! But we're on the top of a tiny hill, so we were safe... but just running between the car door and the front door of the house (while in the drive way, next to the veranda!) got me completely soaked. It was really, really heavy rain. Usually in summer we'll have rain like that, just not with a flood that heavy!

Well, that's about it for our weather. Just remember, if you're traveling in summer, take one of everything for our freak weather (20ºC-40ºC). If you're traveling in winter, take lots of clothing for cold/cool weather (around 10ºC-15ºC). Spring and Autumn are in between, with Spring being more like Summer, and Autumn being more like Winter!

Just remember - don't only bring t-shirts, shorts and swim wear if you're coming to Melbourne... no matter WHAT time of year you come!

Melbourne really is a city of four seasons in one day!

In love with this girl
And with her town as well
Walking 'round the rainy city
What a pity there's things to do at home
- "Melbourne", The Whitlams


© Caroline 'Kunoichi' Seawright 2001 - present

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