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Revealed: What temperature makes a perfect summer's day?

Anthony Sharwood, Monday January 11, 2021 - 17:39 EDT

Summer has finally arrived in Australia’s southeast, after an exceptionally cool and cloudy start to the season caused by classic La Nina conditions.

La Nina typically makes summers cooler and wetter. As we told you on the weekend:

  • Melbourne had its coolest December since 2001 (based on daily maximum temps)
  • Western Sydney and Canberra had their coolest December in a decade.
  • Adelaide and coastal parts of Sydney had their coolest December since 2014.

But this week, it's finally warming up in eastern Australia. The relentless moist easterlies typical of La Nina have eased for the time being, replaced by hotter, drier winds from the north and west.

Image: If it's warm enough to do this, then it's safe to say summer has finally arrived. Source: Pixabay.

In short, for the first time in weeks, it actually feels like summer in eastern Australia. And that got us thinking: what does summer feel like to you? So we asked you.

As you can see, almost 50 percent of you favour the 26-30 degree range. That's no surprise. It's that warm-but-not-too-hot zone where the beach is enticing but your feet won't burn too badly on the sand. Like baby bear's porridge, for most people that temperature range is juuuuust right.

But there was a surprise or two in your comments on social media. In particular, we were interested in how people adjust their expectations so quickly after moving to a different climate.

For example, you tend to think of Brits as people who melt in anything over about 25 degrees. But Tracey, originally from England, told us that summer doesn't really kick off for her anymore until it's 30 degrees or higher.

Meanwhile Queenslander Glen told us that, "Sunny and 18 degrees in Tasmania is perfect".

In general, we imagined that most Aussies love it hot, so we were a little taken aback at first that your second most popular ideal summer temperature range was "25 degrees or lower".

But then, this is the first summer after the Black Summer. Last week, when we wrote about Sydney’s prolonged rainy spell, many of you told us that the cool damp weather was better than last summer's smoky, fiery hell. So perhaps the Black Summer effect is reflected in your responses.

The good news about this week's warmer weather is that very few extreme temperatures are likely. While parts of Victoria and South Australia nudged or exceeded 40 degrees today, and Melbourne reached 36.7, this looks to be a relatively short burst of hot air, with conditions set to moderate by the end of the week.

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