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Philip Duncan: Why I love the weather many seem to hate

When it comes to life, not just the weather, but life, I tend to like things a lot of people don’t – and hate things a lot of people love.  I don’t do this on purpose, I’m just wired to love the weird and ‘normal’ or ‘average’ often seems repetitive and predictable to me.  Although, I do like routine too…but you can have a routine nature to chaotic weather.  For example – we can predict spring is a changeable season.

Let me give you a few examples of the weather I love…

I love all seasons – and pretty much equally.  It’s usually a toss up between Autumn and Summer for my favourite season – although spring is pretty much up there too.  Winter I only love if it feels like winter…which is why I don’t enjoy Auckland winters. They’re not overly cold, but they can sure be damp and cold feeling.   I’m not sure if this is a weird reply – or just an honest one – but I’m continually wanting each season to reach its peak, then hurry up and get on to the next one. I love the change – and I love each season to have a ‘touch’ of severity to it.  I love temperatures being challenged in both directions. 

For those who follow me on Twitter they know one thing – I love to visit cold places at darker times of the year.  I visit places like Nebraska, in the US Mid-west. I go there in winter, or fall, when it’s bland and cold.  I love that no one is there.  I won’t travel much in summer – especially not to somewhere touristy. I can’t think of a worse nightmare than visiting a place like Disneyland in the middle of summer with everyone hot and sweating and waiting in lines all crammed around you.  I’d far rather be in a part of the country where no one else is, mainly because the weather has kept them indoors.  Which is why Colorado and -15 degrees meant there were no queues in any restaurant, shopping mall, movie theatre or airport.

I love camping – and I love small camping sites.  Grew up camping at Hot Water Beach each January, then Hahei for about 20 years.  About 15 years ago I started camping in Tauranga Bay (Northland) for a while too, small campsite right on the beach.  If the forecast says 10 days of sun I get depressed. If i see a tropical storm I get excited.  If i see a day of rain I feel content – as I love a cosy day stuck in a tent or caravan.  And if it’s wet for more than one day, worst case scenario, have a Merlot at 10am and play cards.  Unless the winds rip your tent apart (awful!) then I love the changeable weather.  I think the only weather im not fan of when camping is windy weather at night.

Love it.  Love thick fog so that you can’t see your neighbours house. As someone who spent 20 years living in the country and now has spent nearly 20 years living in a town or city I miss being isolated.  Fog is peaceful, quiet, and calming to me – and makes you feel like someone has put a blanket over your property.  But after a decade in Waikato I realised fog is only fun for 1 day. By day 2 you feel depressed.  Fog is also your worst enemy when flying in New Zealand with most planes not equipped to fly in it, like they are in some other nations…so delays and cancellations are preditable in NZ, esp from Auckland and Wellington and Hamilton airports.

Love it.  Windy days feel great and healthy. My Mum (who has a few great Marge Simpson-isms) always says the wind blows the germs away.  I don’t think that’s entirely true but when I spent 6 months living in Wellington I think I felt more alive than I ever have before, so there’s merits to thinking windy weather is healthier – it certainly blows more pollutants out to sea and less over land.  But to enjoy windy weather you need calm days too – and I love them just as much. But when it’s windy, you won’t often find me moaning unless I’m in a tent. 

Love it. Never enough thunderstorms in New Zealand for my liking.  They are serious and very very dangerous – but also spectacular, loud, bright and like nothing else in nature.

Love them…from a distance.  I appreciate how awful these are though – and it’s the one weather event I never wish for.  But as a forecaster – wow, they are amazing and when I see funnel clouds forming I get a huge kick of adrenalin. 

A bit like Tornadoes, I love them from a distance. I’m the first to get a sick feeling in my stomach when I see one forming and heading to a small tropical island though.  But all tropical storms fascinate me – in fact it’s tropical cyclones and hurricanes that got my passion fired up to becpome a full-time weather forecaster, especially in the media where communicating this information can save lives.  I love cyclones because of their size, how they look, how they behave – but I 100% appreciate how deadly they are.  

I love a cloudy weekend morning. Dont get me wrong, I don’t hate sunny days – but I love to sleep in and clouds help.


So long as I get a wet weekend every month or two, the rest can all be sunny – in fact I prefer the rest to all be sunny!

I don’t own a raincoat.  One of my favourite cities to visit overseas is Vancouver…basically like putting Auckland on the West Coast towards Fiordland.  I love it. Even more so in mid-winter when it’s dark until mid morning, gloomy all day, then dark by 4pm.  I truly love it.    

Love frosts – it usually means a sunny day, at least it did before I moved to Auckland.  In Auckland it can rain after a frost. What’s up with that?!

Used to love it – but not so much as I age as humidity makes things harder to do…and everything seems to get harder to do on its own with each year without humidity adding to it!  Still, I don’t usually complain about humidity unless I’m wearing a heavy suit and walking up the hill on Queen Street in Auckland.  

Quite often when runs a poll about the weather – ie, Do you love gales – or, Do you enjoy fog etc – I’m often in the minority.  I love things that many others seem to hate.

It’s good to be different – life has taught me that – and loving the weather many people dislikes makes me feel like I’m tapping into something other people haven’t yet discovered.

– Philip Duncan.

– Image – Philip Duncan standing on a small train station in Illinois, USA, at midday on New Years Day…temperature just below zero C…and yes, wearing a t-shirt.


What weird weather do you love?  Do you have certain weather, or climates, that you love but others don’t seem to? Post a comment below!


Guest on 20/01/2016 7:48pm

I love a wet summer where all the plants go wild and winter because of snow and how beautiful it is and the cold because it gets rid of pests like flies….the autum can be good because of the lush green grass if its wet enough and the leaves changing colour and spring has the lambs and  calves and the flowers

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