Wind change / by Mario Mirabile

Melbourne's weather is famously fickle and the butt of many jokes (if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes...). Spring is the most changeable season, but as the summer settles in, the weather becomes a little more predictable. We are subjected to protracted spells of hot weather which can be quite oppressive, and seem to be becoming more so. But even the most torrid spell of hot weather will be ended by a famous Melbourne cool change.

If you're out in the heat when the first hint of a cooler breeze is felt, the relief can be pure bliss, especially if you've just suffered through a series of 40° days. The change usually rolls in over the bay from the south-west. It can be anything from a gentle wind change that somehow drops the temperature by 15°, all the way to a blustery gale with some wild storms mixed in with it. The more dramatic changes can make for pretty interesting photography, so when I saw a storm line approaching on the weather radar, I headed for a bayside vantage point with high expectations. The storm line dissipated before it reached me, and with it the often dramatic cloudscapes that accompany severe fronts. The wind, however, remained fierce. It was impossible to hold the camera steady, and even difficult to stand up at times. The bay is nearly land-locked and relatively shallow, so the seas are never huge. Nevertheless, even the once mighty ironclad Cerberus, long scuttled as a breakwater and artificial reef, copped quite a hammering.