Monday, 13 June 2011

Portrait of a Long Weekend

Photo credit - Link

Look familiar? It's common knowledge that whenever a long weekend approaches, you can almost guarantee there will be rubbish weather. Or at least it just seems that way. Currently we are in the middle of the Queen's birthday long weekend in Australia, where a public holiday is observed on the second Monday in June every year. I look out the window and it's absolutely pouring down rain outside.

Most people use long weekends as a chance to go for a short break away (possibly camping), tidying the garden, general DIY or spending the extra time enjoying the outdoors. Instead the traditional long weekend weather forces everyone inside mopping up after surprise leaks in the house. As an added bonus, traffic on the roads become more congested and dangerous in bad weather, adding to the nightmare that is travel on long weekends.

I was interested to see if there was a foundation to the thought of always having shit-house weather over long weekends. According to the Bureau of Meteorology weather data for Nobby's Head (near Newcastle NSW) we have only had six completely dry June long weekends in the last 20 years. That means there's a 70% chance that there's going to be rain at some stage over the weekend.

To top it off, over the June long weekend in 2007, Newcastle experienced one of the worst local flooding events in the area's history. Rainfall exceeded 300 mm in the Hunter Region and combined with king tides and terrible drainage systems, the event resulted in the flooding of many many homes in the area. It was the mother of all crappy long weekend weather. The photo below is of an area of the Newcastle CBD looking only slightly more depressing than normal.

Photo credit - Roderick Breis

Long weekends = crappy weather. It ruins everyone's plans to enjoy the outdoors when they don't usually have the time or energy. However, maybe it's nature's way of telling us that instead of flogging ourselves and being busy all weekend (like every other time of the year) we should be curling up on the lounge, watching movies and eating comfort food. 

There's a positive conclusion I never expected when I started this post . . . . .

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