I don’t like to complain much. Really, who am I kidding, I complain all the time. I do sometimes feel a bit guilty complaining, because for the most part we’re so incredibly blessed that it seems a bit like when movie stars complaining about the horrors of fame and fortune. But I’m sure there are downsides to that as well. Anyway, I wasn’t going to complain about the rain in Sydney until this last weekend.
Usually when we go somewhere on vacation it rains. We’ve just grown accustomed to it, we shrug our shoulders and just power through. We assume that we bring the rain with us wherever we go and try to have a sense of humor about it. But when it continued to rain and rain and rain here in Sydney I thought I’d try to figure out what was going on – and I was shocked when I did.
In the nine months we’ve lived in Sydney it has rained 764 millimeters. Is that a lot you ask? It sure feels like it so I thought it would be handy to make some comparisons. First of all, let’s convert to inches. 764mm is just over 30 inches (about two and a half feet). Next let’s compare to Seattle – which has had a really wet year so far – over the past nine months, Seattle has seen about 39 inches of rain. Okay, so suck it up you say, it’s not as wet as Seattle.
But here’s where it gets interesting….
It’s actually been comparably dry in Sydney over the past nine months (all of which changed in the past 72 hours, but more on that below). In an average year, Sydney receives about 48 inches of rain – compared to an average year in Seattle where they receive about 40 inches. And when you compare Sydney and San Diego (which is the weather comparison that sold me on Sydney), it’s downright depressing… San Diego gets about 10 inches of rain a year. Here we were thinking that all this rain in Sydney is abnormal, and the truth is that it is abnormal… abnormally dry.
So here I am, complaining, when I really shouldn’t because when things go well here they are incredible. It’s nearly impossible to beat the natural beauty, and on blue-sky days even the very simplest thing like the sunset from our terrace can be breathtaking. But I guess when the rain comes it pours. Take this weekend… since Friday afternoon (over the past three days), it has rained over 7 inches. That’s nearly 15 percent of Sydney’s average annual rainfall in just under one percent of the year, uggghhh.
Now wouldn’t you just know that this was going to happen when the house is full of cousins. We’re so lucky to have Bob and Jennifer and their family here with us over the past week. They came all this way and our boys have been absolutely over the moon with excitement to see and play with their cousins. In addition to Sydney, Bob and his family are going to spend a couple days visiting the Great Barrier Reef and have already seen some of New Zealand. We’re just so glad to have friendly, loving faces from home with us, that it seems petty to be thinking about the rain. And, I know that there have been enough breaks in the rain so the cousins have been able to get little glimpses of all that Sydney has to offer; a Harbour Bridge climb, an Opera House tour, koalas & kangaroos, and surf lessons at Manly Beach just to name a few. But, mostly the extended Ewing family has been able to see Sydney simply with a shrug of the shoulders and an attitude that just plain powers through. Oh, and a couple well used rain ponchos helped too. If you want to see some pictures of the extended crew of yellow ducklings on our visit to the very wet Blue Mountains, you can see them here.
Hoping you’ll visit soon too – and while we can offer no promises that the rain will hold off while you’re here, we can certainly guarantee that it won’t be as wet as it has been in the past couple days.