Sunday, October 26, 2008

Old jokes

The thing about old jokes is that they only stay around if there’s an element of truth to them. A bit like stereotypes, except they’re not usually as easy to refute as jokes are.

One of the country’s favourite jokes about Auckland goes like this: What do you call two days of rain in Auckland? A weekend. What do you call three days of rain? A holiday weekend. And what do you call four days of rain? Easter weekend.

The element of truth is that there are parts of the year when it rains a lot. Winter can be quite rainy (and Queen’s Birthday holiday is in winter). October, November and December can be unsettled, and the period from around Christmas to mid-January is when cyclones (Southern Hemisphere hurricanes) are more likely (though still not very likely in New Zealand). This includes the Labour Day holiday weekend, plus Christmas and New Year’s.

On the other hand, the most settled days are generally mid-January to mid-March (give or take a few days either way). Auckland has two holidays in that period: Auckland Anniversary Day and Waitangi Day. There are also quite a few weekends. And some of the most brilliant, sunny days— including weekends—occur in Winter.

The reality is that the joke overstates things considerably; statistically, Auckland is about in the middle of rainy/sunny day averages for the country. Even so, we like to repeat the joke. No one ever said they actually had to be true.

The forecast for tomorrow is for a mostly sunny day with a high about 18 (64 in American temperature), with SW winds about 16-32kph.


Anonymous said...

So far, no rain this morning. No way this is Labour Day. No way!!

And in other good news, did you see the Anchorage Daily News endorsed Obama? Imagine SP's face voraciously reading that headline if anyone bothers to put the paper in front of her!

d said...

No rain down here in sunny Wellington! =D

Arthur Schenck said...

Lita: Yeah, Labour Day turned out pretty nice! I heard about the Anchorage paper's endorsement, but if it was put in front of Palin, could she read it?

D: Yes, but how's the wind? ;-)