24 December 2006

Arriving in Melbourne in summer - clothes

Summer in Melbourne is unpredictable. A day may start with hot north winds and reach 40 degrees C, before a cool change in the afternoon which drops the temperature to 20 degrees in half an hour. Then the next 3 days can be cool and wet, with night temperatures down to 10 degrees and maximum daily temperatures below 20 degrees. A few days later the wind direction will change and the temperature rise again.

For people coming from tropical climates, you need to bring warm clothes for the cool nights. People coming from cooler climates can be uncomfortable on the hottest days and you'll need to bring something cooler than jeans. Air conditioning is not always installed in homes or workplaces.

Australia gets some of the highest levels of UV in the world. I think all foreign visitors are surprised by the ferocity of Melbourne's summer sun. Spend too long outside without sunscreen and you will change colour. If you have ever been sunburnt, bring some sunscreen (sun burn cream) with you.

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