The Summer Olympics in Sydney open this Friday - which by the way, is my birthday. Anyway, calling them "Summer" Olympics is actually a bit misleading, because officially, it's still winter there. Astronomical spring arrives in the Southern Hemisphere on September 22, the same day we begin autumn.

But the locals in Sydney consider spring to be August through October, and with good reason. Sydney's on the southeast coast of Australia, so it feels the moderating influence of the ocean. Even in winter, it really doesn't get that chilly there. And Sydney's temperatures in mid and late September are comparable to ours in late April - average highs in the upper 60s, average lows around 50.

As for rain, Sydney averages only about 2.5 inches in September. In fact, it's their sunniest and driest month, on average. So unlike four years ago in Atlanta, heat and humidity and frequent thunderstorms shouldn't be a problem in Sydney. If anything, athletes and visitors will need sunscreen by day and a jacket at night. And by the way, Sydney is 14 time zones ahead of us.

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