This darn winter

It’s cold and it’s wet.

Now, you may be thinking it can’t possibly get all that cold in Sydney. You’re right. A cold winter’s day in Sydney is a maximum of 12-14°C, and even at night it never gets colder than about 4°C where I am near the coast. But the thing about Sydney is that our homes are not designed for this weather. Insulation is poor to non-existent. I have never seen a double-glazed window in Sydney.

This means when it’s 14°C outside… it’s 14°C inside. This morning after getting out of bed I was sitting here, with three layers of clothing on, drinking hot cups of herbal tea, and shivering. The design of Sydney homes actually violates the World Health Organisation’s guidelines on safe winter indoor living temperatures, as pointed out by this article from today’s news. It’s a very common observation by visitors from northern Europe or North America, where they get regular snow during winter, to say that they’ve never in their lives felt as cold as spending a winter in Sydney.

And then this year there’s also the rain. I’ve been telling you about the record rainfalls all year. Has it let up in July?

14 days into July, Sydney has already set a new record for the highest ever rainfall recorded for the whole month of July. We still have more than half the month to go! And we’re now only about 200 mm short of beating the wettest year on record – a record that will almost certainly be surpassed. And now the weather bureau is saying there’s a greater than 50% chance of the coming summer being another La Nińa, meaning more rainfall.

I took a look at the latest minutes form the monthly meeting of my apartment complex’s managing committee. 9 out of the 18 items on the agenda were about building leaks or other rainfall-related problems such as damp and rotting woodwork, collapse of garden retaining walls, or inadequate drainage leading to puddling of water.

In non-weather news, I see the news sites are all hyping the latest “super double wolf blood moon” for the current full moon. Have people forgotten that full moons happen every month, so that they get excited about it every single time it happens and have to hype it up into something “amazing” each time? Anyway, I was inspired to write a quick mezzacotta random supermooon generator.

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2 thoughts on “This darn winter”

  1. Yeah, the coldest I’ve been inside in a regular building has been in Italy. In November. The temperatures were maybe 13-15 degrees outside and at highest 17 degrees inside. The place I was staying at had thick walls and double windows, but they leaked so much it didn’t really matter.

    Of course we, in Finland, have somewhat of the opposite problem: our houses have not been built for long periods of temperatures above 25 degrees, and AC is not easy to install in many places.

  2. The full moon was closer to earth or something this month – it looked huge when rising up – really impressive.
    About the cold weather – here we have a similar probelm with old buildings, but new ones are built with better isolation – the summer heat is unbearable without an air conditioner so it’s better to have a sealed house anyway.
    I did see some european hiuses that have metal roofs to get the heat at winter. After global warming really kicks in, the people living in those would be boiled alive.

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