TUESDAY DECEMBER 19 - THE HOLIDAY SEASON DOWN UNDER


The holiday season would certainly have a different look and feel if it occurred six months from now, say in late June. Somehow colorful holiday lights and Santa Claus on his sleigh don't seem to go with 80oF heat and the sun setting at 9:00 o'clock in the evening.

But this very scenario plays out every year for those folks living at the same latitude that we do, but in the Southern Hemisphere. That's because their seasons are the exact opposite of ours in the Northern Hemisphere. We're now at a time of year with very long nights - in fact, tonight will be 14 hours and 40 minutes long. But that's just about the length of daylight today for folks in Buenos Aires, Argentina or Sydney, Australia, for example. And average highs in those two cities are around 80oF right now, with average lows around 60oF.

One point about seasonal variations in the Southern Hemisphere. In general, there's not as large a swing in temperature from winter to summer as there is in the Northern Hemisphere, simply because there's more ocean in the Southern Hemisphere, and water doesn't heat up and cool down very drastically.

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