Talking about the weather: it’s genetic.

Posted on February 12, 2010

When I was writing my weekly ‘what I talked about’ post (see below), the one thing that kept coming to mind (beyond wine, but I blame that on FebFast) was the weather. The last week has been too rainy or too sticky or too hot or too damn something every single day. I have had countless conversations about the weather. I think it’s genetic.

The older you get, the more you become like your parents. Hence I now watch The Bill (and not just for Smiffy), love my garden and talk about the weather. I have not yet reached the stratospheric heights of The Builder, who shooshes us all at 5.57pm so that he can concentrate on what Tim Bailey is telling him about the minimum overnight temperature. But I’m working on it.

I blame my Dad (hi Dad!). This is a man who keeps a diary. The only thing in the diary is a record, each day, of the minimum and maximum temperatures for the day, as forecast by the TV weatherman. He writes this down every day. Underneath it, written the next day, is the actual minimum and maximum temperatures. I kid you not. You can see at a glance how accurate the whole process is.


Occasionally, he goes crazy and writes down an outstanding news event. The day Jennifer Hawkins lost her skirt on the runway was described as ‘Whoops, Jennifer Hawkins’. Only the big stuff makes it to the comment stage.

When I first read this diary (it was open, really) I was in fits of laughter. Who would go to the trouble of doing this? But now it makes a lot more sense. It’s a legacy, in its own way. If you ever need to know the forecast weather, for any day of the year, any year, and the actual weather that occurred on that day, just ask my Dad. He’s got that info right there at his fingertips. It’s climate change as it happens.

Given how much we all talk about the weather, Dad’s on his way to a national consulting role. Just you wait. Kevin07 will be calling one day. If only to check Dad’s availability for the Independent Inquiry Into Weather Reporting In This Country. Yep, any day now.


  1. @jencull (jen)

    This is a brilliant idea, I am in awe of your Dad for being so organised and interested. It is a great hobby and as good as any other:) Jen

  2. Stacia

    Whenever we visit family (who have cable, unlike us) or stay in a hotel, we indulge in our Weather Channel addiction. What is it about the weather??

  3. Madame Marielle

    LOL at Jennifer Hawkins day!

  4. Lady Estrogen

    That’s great. Dads really can be strange creatures of habit 🙂

  5. Karen

    Sounds like Mr Karen. He checks the BOM website every hour or so – more frequently if there is something developing – and watches the weather report on at least 3 channels!! Glad to know he’s in good company. There could be worse obsessions to have …

  6. Cate

    Too funny! I can’t believe you read his diary!! naughty girl 🙂

    The weather’s one of those great ice breakers…no matter what’s been happening, even if you’ve been arguing…you can always fall back on ‘how about this weather, eh’

    have a great weekend

  7. Naturally Carol

    What is it with Dads and measuring and record keeping? My Dad records sunspot readings…every day at certain times of the month or year, no matter whether he’s on holiday or not, he has to record sunspot readings, makes monthly graphs and then diarises them! He how has sunspot readings going back probably twenty years or more!

  8. Lucy

    @Jamie – I am with you. I love the BOM site. We lived in Darwin for a while – and the stroms up there intorduced me to BOM gazing…

  9. Jamie

    I’ve got it real bad. Two words – rain gauge – summarise the extent of it. But my real addiction these days is the Weather Bureau’s online radar. I think it’s all the colours that I like the most, but I do love watching the radar when a storm is approaching.

  10. House of Dust and Fur

    My (late) Nanna did this religiously, from the ABC news each night. Except she’d write them down on little scraps of paper! She had a pile of scrap papers stapled together shopping list style and a pen beside her chair ready for the big ‘moment’.
    Oh dear – I hope it’s not genetic!

  11. Rachel

    So you could say writing runs in the family in more ways than one…. I love your dad … that is awesome that after all this time he still keeps a record… and in yrs to come you can all sit down and see what the weather was like on a certain day … fabulous idea… bit like my garden diary..which at the moment just says frozen

  12. littlemissairgap

    I’m far more interested in the weather since:
    a) Living on acreage and only having tank water &
    b) Having lived in Melbourne (Ah, 40 today and 16 tomorrow).
    My children also have a strange fascination with the weather. They forget they’re not in Melbourne anymore. Mind you, rather than asking is it going to be cold outside, they now ask is it going to storm!

    As my Dad would say, there’s a method in his madness 😉

  13. Tat

    Blogging is like a diary in a way. So you might find yourself posting comparisons of the forecasted and the actual temperatures one day, when you become more like your parents 🙂

  14. Lucy

    Al, this is funny. It was evidently before I found you, so to speak, else I would have commented back then.

    My Dad was the same. He would listent to the local forecast on the wireless, then go outside and tap the thermometer, and inspect it over the top of his specs.

    And write it down. In a diary bound in black leatherette with red corners. In his terrible handwriting.

    (Dare I say it, he also recorded rainfall too?! And regulalry tapped and inspected a barometer as well?)

    Thank you Al, for allowing me a fond trip down memory lane.

  15. Lucy

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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