Today was a beautiful day – that’s it in the photo above. The weather was stunning – warm enough in the sun to sunbath. No wind and, once the sun went down, cool but not chilly.
So here’s my problem. I always figured that Italy was much closer to the equator than New Zealand and that’s what determined the hot, hot summers and milder winters when compared to home. I always thought that Positano must be on a similar latitude to, say, Brisbane in Australia. It made sense to me.
But then I checked the facts.
The latitude of Positano is 40° 37′ N. The latitude of Wellington is 41° 19′ S. That’s almost identical. In fact Paekakariki is 40° 37′ S which is identical. (For non-kiwi readers Paekakariki – pronounced Pie-car-car-reeky – is a very small coastal community about 40kms north of our home town Wellington.)
In theory Positano in November and December should have the same weather as Paekakariki in May and June. Now, I’m not wanting to upset the lovely people of Paekakariki but this isn’t the case.
If you are asking a serious question, then the serious answer lies in the amount of surronding land and water ratios. A southerlie hitting NZ has covered only ocean with nothing to impede it since leaving Antactica. It arrives just as cold as when it left and laden with moisture picked up from the sea. The northern hemispehere version, the northerlie, has covered mainly land and been impeded by mountains (aren’t thier some alps to the north) in its journey from the Arctic to Italy. It loses a bit of its force, most of the moisture and even warms up slightly during the journey.
Which brings me nicely to an observation. While flying north for the winter months is quite sensible when in the Southern Hemispere, it is completely the wrong thing to do when north of the equator. Or in simple terms- why have you spent summer in Italy and plan on going to England for the winter, Almost everyone else would do this the other way around.
Excellent explanation and it makes perfect sense. Apparently there is also wind from North Africa that is heated by the desert which adds to the warming effect.
Appreciate your observation about us “flying north” for the winter while every sane person is heading the other way but let’s face it painting the windows with fake snow, dressing up in a red suit and beard and singing “let it snow” in the middle of summer isn’t exactly rational behaviour either.
So while you are standing around the barbie in your shorts, drinking your over chilled lager think of us having the first logical, sensible Christmas of our lives.
And what’s more our dear friends in the UK have guaranteed us a white Christmas which will be a new (and probably quite cold) experience. Already I believe the staff at the Black Horse in Woburn are getting our seats ready next to the fire and warming the beer in anticipation of our return.
Jeans opinion is that there is no such thing as summer in England anyway so the whole debate is academic.