“If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” That’s the motto used by Sydneysiders whenever someone complains about our temperamental weather. And for the most part, it’s true. One minute the weather is nothing but picturesque clear skies, warm temperatures and comfortable cool breezes – the ideal picture of summer. The next, the skies have turned a smoky grey and you suddenly feel like you’re in the Arctic Circle.
So, how do you survive Sydney weather?
1. Listen to the weatherman
Like some, if not most of you, I’m reluctant to listen to a weatherman/woman, solely because I was misled by a forecast several years ago and I’m yet to recover… that and the fact that I can’t stand weather puns so I steer clear of live weather forecasts.
But I’ve recently learnt that the weatherman can be your best friend. The most important key to unlocking the Pandora’s box, that is Sydney’s weather, is to listen to forecasts so you have a general idea of what the weather will be like.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but going outside at 9am in a t-shirt and shorts to test the weather won’t give you an accurate reflection of the temperature. Besides, weathermen/woman have special weather predicting technology so if you can’t trust them to give you a basic weather forecast, who can you trust?
Like an onion, you’ve got to have layers. This is extremely important, especially if there’s a slight possibility of a drastic change in the weather. Layers allow you to unravel yourself as the weather changes so you’re comfortable, but they also allow you to cover yourself when the weather takes another turn.
A good layer combination would be: a coat, comfortable pants, and a t-shirt (scarves are optional). A bad combination would be: a t-shirt, shorts and ugg boots. Before you get your pitchforks, here me out. The second combination is bad because of the fashion faux pas (although uggs are equivalent to crocs). But if the weather gets colder, your arms and legs will be exposed so it won’t really matter if your toes are warm because the rest of your body will be freezing. Take my word for it I’ve been there before.
There’s nothing worse than being caught off-guard, so keeping an umbrella in your bag, locker, or office can be your saving grace. But you can’t just have a regular umbrella, you need an industrial one otherwise it’s like trying to shield yourself with a piece or paper, absolutely useless.
4. Quick Thinking
Like some bizarre weather chameleon, you need to be able to adapt to your circumstances. When it rains you need to be able to think on your feet and find the driest routes to get you from point A to point B. When it’s blistering hot, you need to be able to find the quickest way to get from point A to B that won’t leave you sweaty and exhausted. Creativity and innovation are born out of frustration and nothing is as frustrating as Sydney’s weather.
I’ve said all that to say this, preparation is key to surviving Sydney’s weather. Keep comfortable, keep warm (or cold) and don’t forget the one cardinal rule: keep your shoes on. It’s never too hot or cold to not wear shoes in public.