Your web browser (Internet Explorer) is out of date. Some things will not look right and things might not work properly. Please download an up-to-date and free browser from here.

BLOG – It’s the little things that annoy us

By Philip Duncan, head weather analyst

In the mid-90s I had the chance to listen to a guest speaker who talked about human behaviours – in particular stresses in the work place and stresses in relationships.  One key message that came through was that whether it’s at home or in the office – it’s usually the smallest things that stress us out most.

With relationships it might be our partner leaving toothpaste marks on the sink…or putting the toilet paper on the wrong way around…or leaving a wet towel on the bedroom floor.  With work it might be that one person who puts dirty dishes in the dish washer with the clean ones…or who doesn’t replace the ink cartridge when empty… or overwhelms you with annoying emails throughout the day.

So when it comes to weather, it’s not a big surprise that quite often it’s the little things that bug us.  Out of the complaints that WeatherWatch receives I would say 90% of them are about really small things.   For example, predicting a high of 16 degrees when it only made it to 15.  Or forecasting an easterly wind when it’s actually an ESE wind.   The minor details can be what make us love or hate something.

In life small things that bug the heck out of me are things like people who don’t wave at you when you’ve slowed to let them in on the motorway.  Or, notes in our kitchens at work saying “please clean your dishes”.  At home it’s maybe my dog walking on the wooden floors when I’m trying to sleep…tappity tappity tappity down the hallway…drives me insane!

With weather, there isn’t too much that really stresses me out – but again, it is the small things that do.

I’m sure you’ve read the comments posted in some of our stories by regular contributor SW (short for South Westerly if you hadn’t guessed that already).  His pet hate is quite clearly – south westerlies!  It drives him nuts when the wind howls from the south west and blows sharp pine needles all over the place.

With me one of my pet hates is condensation.  I don’t know why but I hate it so much I’ll go as far as leaving a fan on a very low speed in my room just to stop the windows fogging up.   If I’ve ever been on a bus I hate it even more…knowing that it’s partially caused by people’s breath.  Gross!

In Summer the part of Auckland I live in is under the convergence zone between the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean sea breezes…that might sound very lovely but actually it creates a nice big cloud above my house that can significantly lower the temperature.  Even worse when I look west or east and see blue skies.  Another pet hate!

So what about you?  Is there anything that especially irritates you with the weather?  Or with weather forecasts?  Post a comment below – we’d love to read them!


Derek on 20/08/2009 2:03am

Great reading here Phil, enjoyable & amusing and I think we could all write pages on pet hates.

We installed a DVS system some years back to rid us of the condensation, worked like a charm, house beautifully dry and coupled with gas central heating, a ducted warm air type, we enjoy a beautiful cosy warm home in winter. The DVS is much cheaper to run than a dehumidifier and dries the whole house not just the room with the dehumidifier in.

As for weather pet hates, mine here in Whangarei are the NE or Easterly winds & rain (Tropical lows & cyclones) which hit the back entrance to the house making all the area very wet, even though we built a verandah type cover over it which is great for any other type wind or rain but not these Easterlies. Poor dog cannot find a dry spot and trying to dry her off prior to bringing her indoors is a right pain. Second one is the amount of cloud we sometimes get during an anticyclone, all around the sky is blue but here in Whangarei we get cloud accompanied by a good temp drop.
But it’s all due to nature so we just have to put up with it.

A suggestion, maybe folk writing in could have a spot on the header’s up there to insert their location. Often read SW’s comments but where is he/she??

Bootha on 19/08/2009 11:13pm

I have lived in Christchurch for 15 years now – and I’ve gotta say the biggest pain in this town is NOT the Southerly, but the North Easterly. It is the single most frequent wind direction and it almost always is cold and often feels damp. You can take a summer day in the mid 20’s and basically shave 10 degrees off.
I’ve lost count of the number of potentially perfect summer days ruined by this wind. It is said that we would have a Mediterranian climate without it !
I actually like our SW as you know it will be short sharp and puts snow on the hills !

Diana on 19/08/2009 9:26pm

Any sort of southerly, because in Autumn & Winter – it blows the leaves through my back door, in Spring through to summer the birds seem to perch themselves on my under cover clothes line, also in the Summer all the neighbours cats believe my arm chair is THEIR chair and they leave a collection of presents for me of dead animals at my door. If that isnt enough, when I finally get to sit in MY arm chair – the look from the cat / s saying with their eyes, its my turn now, you been there 5 minutes too long even though I just sat down.

Another pet hate is the coffee jar and sugar bowl being left out on the bench and not put away after use and back in the cupboard. As for the weather, well at the moment not enough sun and warmth.

Suggestion Phil Carpet on the floor (mats) or perhaps even slipper or gloves on the dogs toesies will stop the racket of his feet up the hall. Slip and slide maybe (lol) and de humidifier to rid the condensation.. Aluminium windows are worst than wooden..

Palmerston north is fine and cool this morning – with a gentle breeze and clouds around the Ruhine ranges. Road traffic a steady pace no problems and aircrafts running to time.

Enjoy your day 🙂

Guest on 19/08/2009 9:19pm

I love how you wrote that in such a polittically correct way!! My biggest pet hate is those people who complain about you getting the temperature one degrees wrong, the “long time listner, first time caller people”. I think you and your website are great and will have to start reading your blogs more often. 🙂 Toni

Claire on 19/08/2009 9:13pm

LOL, let us know what part of Auckland you are in so we never buy a house there ;o)

I also hate the dampness and associated mildew. We live on the south side of a hill, backing into the bush, with a creek at the bottom of the road. One dehumidifier, a DVS system and 3 heat pumps later, the place is bone dry, but it shouldn’t be that hard to stop your curtains going moldy!

I remember my biggest forecasting peeve was a couple of years back when thunderstorms were forecast almost every day for about two weeks and we got nothing. It was so disappointing. I also can’t stand those “lazy winds” – the kinds that can’t be bothered to go around you and instead go right through you. Hate them with a passion.

Pete on 19/08/2009 8:29pm

I hate weather that does not come to anything especially where I live. Always drizzle no rain, sleet no snow, Sunny for an hour then the sea breezes, thunderstorms strengthen once they pass etc. . . I just wish the weather would be fine and if not at least majke a show of itself. But thats christchurch.



ND on 19/08/2009 7:38pm

What a lovely article! This was a bright start to the morning! Thank you.

Related Articles