Monday, November 12, 2018

Melbourne’s weather is notoriously changeable — here’s why

Mother Nature can get awfully moody in Melbourne — but there’s actually a good scientific reason why the weather sucks in the Victorian capital.

The Sydney versus Melbourne rivalry is a long and archaic one.

On one hand, Sydney boasts iconic landmarks, better beaches and one of the world’s most beautiful harbours.

Melburnians claim a number of more subtle advantages over the Harbour City: a better food and coffee culture, a thriving arts scene, and a night-life that hasn’t been crippled by depressing lockout laws.

But there’s one aspect of life on the east coast that gives Sydneysiders a smug sense of satisfaction over their southern hipster counterparts: its enviable coastal climate.

Melbourne’s weather has a notorious reputation — it can be 35 degrees one minute and 18 degrees the next. You can step outside in shorts and a T-shirt at 9am and be soaked and shivering by midday.

This, according to Bureau of Meteorology expert Tom Fejes, is largely because of the city’s geographic position in the country.

“A lot of it is because Melbourne is further south,” he told “You’ve got the cold coming in from the Arctic Ocean, bringing up frost and that affects the city more, and it’s also much drier as well. In a place like Sydney, with more humid conditions, temperatures are going to be more stable.

“The further south you go, you get those cold fronts coming through and the windier conditions.”

It also comes down to the landmarks surrounding the city.

“The ranges to the north of Melbourne have a big impact on the weather there. Sydney has that to an extent, but the ranges are to the west, which is why Sydney gets such lovely, dry winters,” Mr Fejes said.

While the spring months are arguably the best time to visit Sydney — when you can enjoy beach weather without suffering that inevitable annual 40C heatwave — it’s also the time Melbourne is most changeable.

“The spring months are where you see the biggest contrast,” said Mr Fejes. This is partly due to the city’s proximity to the northern ranges. As the weather warms up, hot air sweeps down towards the south, bringing warmer temperatures with them.

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