How about this weather, eh!

Talking about the weather never grows old. In fact, like a fine wine, it improves with age. You never see a pair of five-year-old kids standing by the monkey bars going:

‘Maaate, how about this rain?’

Some places are blessed with weather that is predictable and constant, viz. Singapore. This is like getting out of bed and reading the back of the cereal box. You know what you’re going to get every morning.

Some places get weather that is not constant, but is predictable. Like watching TV. It’s always different, but if you refer to the guide, you can be confident what is scheduled will happen.

Melbourne’s is neither constant nor predictable. It’s like talking with a drunk at the pub. It starts out sunny, and then you say the wrong thing, and a dark cloud descends.

‘What the F#@&% are you trying to say, douchebag? ‘ asks the weather. Then, just as you’re preparing your haymaker, it clears again, with a grin, and pretends it never meant anything by it.

I have a friend that works at the Bureau of Meteorology here in Melbourne. I can’t reveal his name, but I can assure you he’s no slouch, having graduated from a respected university with a PhD in the physics of knitting.

On his first day at the Bureau, they gave him the daytime forecasting kit: a pair of binoculars. (The night-time forecasting kit consists of a latex glove for the spreading of entrails.)

Being the only Gen X in the organisation he scoffed at their outmoded approach and designed an algorithm feeding off US Pro Wrestling results. I am able to confirm that it is outperforming the status quo model and he is now in line for promotion.

Speaking of the Bureau, the weather in this town can be viewed in one of two ways, either out the window, or on the Bureau’s radar. The radar brings a new sense of awareness to the weather. You can get an objective measure of how heavy the rain is. With it comes a whole new vocab. There’s White Rain which is barely a drizzle; a few shades of Blue Rain you’d happily wander out into; Green Rain; then Yellow Rain, which is unfortunately named and definitely umbrella-worthy.

Orange Rain, which is next, is the first really soaking level of rain; Red Rain, which is heavy enough that it gets hard to see; and then you’ve got the Brown levels, which are rarely encountered, but never forgotten.

A good patch of Red Rain tends to have a Brown epicentre, and if that passes over your house, you’re gonna need a snorkel. The darkest of the Brown levels is what’s known as ‘Biblical Brown’, and it’s at that time that you should hit, round up Rover and Fido, and hope for the best.

This is the town that inspired Tim Finn to write Four Seasons in One Day. But of course, it doesn’t really rain in Melbourne any more. We get grey clouds, and the sort of sprinkle that implies God might need a prostate check, but never that sense of release. Still, I have experienced as much talk of the absence of rain as its presence. Clearly, weather conversations are like a weed – they thrive whatever the conditions.

If you think you’ve got some good stock-standard replies to this question, please leave them below:
So, how about this weather we’ve been having?

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Thomas the Think Engine is the blog of a trained economist. It comes to you from Melbourne Australia.

One thought on “How about this weather, eh!”

  1. I did work experience at the BOM was amazed that all the expensive computer predictions and PhDs were backed up by: ‘mate, what’ve you got for tuesday?’
    ‘I’ve got 21’
    ‘Awh yeah, I’ve got 22 but I guess I’ll go 21 too.’
    The Sandman used to say that bad weather is a blessing because no one wants to talk about good weather – and when it’s really hot, no one wants to talk at all.


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