Same Latitude, Same Weather? No Way

Although some over enthusiastic tourism promoters and Chambers of Commerce claim otherwise, there really is nowhere in the world that has perfect weather all the time. And if it did, it would probably be very boring after a while, golfers excepted.

Even where I live, on the east coast of Australia just on the sunny side of latitude 29°S, we have occasional periods of flood rains or searing hot days where it is easy to think of finding somewhere drier or cooler to live.

But then we would probably have to put up with droughts and dreary winter weather. Because no matter where we live, the weather and climate will interact to give us days where it is just best to stay inside.

However, unless we are really unlucky, they will be replaced by those perfect days which make the whole years weather bearable.

There is another aspect to weather and climate which is examined in the following article, and that is our position on the globe. Here's what David Leonhardt had to say. If you want to use his article for yourself, please contact Isnare first -their address is at the end of the article.


Weather And Latitude Are Not Allies

By David Leonhardt

There is a popular assumption that if you move to higher latitudes (toward the poles) you can escape the heat, and that by moving to lower latitudes (toward the equator) you can escape the cold.

The equation is simple. But is it real? If it was, then the most northerly capital, Reykjavík, would also be the least until they establish a country on Antarctica. Yes, it appears that latitude is slacking off and failing to keep temperatures in line.

This was brought home to me when preparing for a radio interview in Dublin, Ireland. February had just roiled in and I was sitting back comfortably in my good old Ottawa weather, scraping icicles off my toes. I was giddy with excitement over our warm spell, which it was reaching a high of minus-5 (that's about 20-degrees American). I always ask questions the day before an interview, to learn a bit about my audience, so I asked the producer, "So what's the weather forecast in Dublin?" asked.

"Oh it's horrible," she told me. "People are bracing for a deep winter freeze that's supposed to hit tonight. It might even get as cold as minus-5!"

This blew me away, that the folks in Dublin would be worried about the thermometer dips as low as ours spikes high. After all, isn't Dublin about the same latitude as Ottawa?

I whipped out my trusty atlas. We live almost exactly on the 45th parallel. If we lived exactly on it, we would have to share our bed with a cow and a dozen chickens across the road – that's how close we are.

I turned the pages to find Ireland. Could I have been mistaken? Is Dublin really quite south of us? No, it turns out that Dublin lies at the 53rd parallel. Hey! They should be getting colder weather than us. That's not fair.

The weather is not fair. Dublin is way to the North of us, so why do we get all the cold?

I decided to take a peak at a few other pages of my atlas. Lo and behold, Venice is also on the 45th parallel. Let me tell you that the Venice weather forecast never calls for getting buried in snow for three or four months of the year. In fact, the average temperature in January is +1 (that's about 34-degrees American).

Hmm. I wondered what else lay along the 45th parallel. The French Riviera. Not too much ice going on there. Portland, Oregon. I checked the Portland weather forecast. Yup, same as Venice in January. Sevastapol, Urkaine, also with January temperatures near Venice.

In fact, no other well-populated area of the world endures so much cold (except parts of Russia, but many of those people can't afford the taxi fare to go somewhere else).

So why do so many people with so much wealth live in such an inhospitable climate? I don't know. Maybe we are waiting for latitude to correct this little anomaly.

Or maybe our brains are simply frozen. Or maybe that's why so many people around here head south to enjoy that Orlando weather forecast.

About the Author: David Leonhardt is a website marketing consultant: He is building a travel directory at: Get your weather forecast at



So there you go. But I guess we get used to what we've got.

A couple of points come out of that article.

Firstly, while David is correct in his observations, I suspect he checked Sevastopol in the Ukraine on a good day.

And more importantly, what we are dealing with here is climate, and the influence of air masses.

Ottawa and most of inland North America, plus most of Russia, come under the influence of cold, dry Polar or Arctic air masses which grow over the polar areas and frequently spill out to the south, sometimes reaching as far as Florida. Because they form over land or ice, they are called continental airmasses, and they are renowned for their low temperatures.

On the other hand, there are maritime air masses which form over the oceans. Because they sit over those parts of the oceans which never freeze, the air stays relatively warm and humid.

These are the main weather influences on near coastal areas such as Oregon, Ireland, Western Europe and Mediterranean areas.

So although latitiude on its own will not predict the details of weather, location in a near coastal area may be a lot kinder to you than a residence near the center of a continent.

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Last update 05/28/2011