This article is based on work done by Andrea Knox and Jordan Monk in fulfillment of the group project requirements for the 2022 Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington course: STAT394 Multivariate Statistics.

You can’t beat Wellington on a good day. Unfortunately you never know when those days will be

“I wish I was in Wellington, the weather’s not so great.”
The Mutton Birds, “Wellington”, 1994.

Wellington is notorious for its windy and unpredictable weather. We celebrate it in our public sculptures, our songs, and our (seemingly daily) complaints about it. Our weather seems to defy the seasons - we have hail storms in summer and gloriously sunny winter days. Spring can seem like a cruel joke. We envision hope and renewal, newly opened flowers and crisp sunny mornings. Instead we endure grey rainy days and a howling wind. Perhaps we need to adjust our expectations.

The 'blown away' sign in Miramar, Wellington. Image by Wainuiomartian, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The ‘blown away’ sign in Miramar, Wellington. Image by Wainuiomartian, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We can’t change the weather. But maybe we can change the seasons

In a popular 2014 tweet, Adam Shand proposed a new classification of Wellington’s seasons that splits spring into two periods (August and December) and renames what was formerly spring (September to November) as shitsville. People approved. There have been hundreds of retweets, you can buy the t-shirt and there’s even a website that tells you what the “real” season is now.

Schematic of the conventional seasons (left) and the alternative 'real' seasons (right). Adapted from https://www.realnzweather.com.