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      A Descent Into Winter

      To experience winter weather at this time of the year, one has to head south into the Southern Hemisphere. Early August is roughly analogous to early February in the Northern Hemisphere. So itâ??s the depths of winter down under in places like Australia. Hereâ??s a link to the surface weather map of Australia. Remember, cold air comes from the south down under. Thatâ??s why the cold frontâ??s pointy barbs are facing north because movement of the front is northeastward. Also, the circulation around the low well off the southeast coast south of Tasmania is clockwise as opposed to counter-clockwise in our part of the world.

      Australia is too far north for severe winter weather. Its farthest south major city, Melbourne, sits on the ocean at about the corresponding latitude of St. Louis. So it has a moderate, maritime climate. On the other hand, Darwin is in the tropics. Even though itâ??s winter, the forecast high today is 90 degrees.

      To the southeast of Australia lies New Zealand. Being farther south, New Zealand receives colder winter weather. Check this link and click on the city you desire. On the far southern end of the south island is Invercargill. Itâ??s about at the equivalent of our latitude, 46 degrees south. The last time I checked there was a wind gust of 130 kilometers per hour; thatâ??s 78 miles an hour! Note that some snow is forecast to night and then rainy damp weather through the next five days.

      Farther southâ??as far south as one can travel on earthâ??is the South Pole, Antarctica. Last time I checked it was a cool 97 degrees below zero at Vostok. However, the wind was only blowing at 12 knots (about 13 miles per hour) so the wind chill wasnâ??t horrendous. However at 97 below any breeze would have to be unbearable. Here is the 14-day forecast for the South Pole Amundsen-Scott station. No big warm ups are expected; though the high is forecast to â??warmâ?? to 32 below zero on the 19th! Warm is a relative term at the South Pole. I checked the weather last January 20th, analogous to our first day of summer around June 20. The high was 16 below and the low was 22 below! And we complain when the weather gets too chilly during the summer here in the U.P.!