The Wet, the Dry, the Build-Up, those are the seasons in the Top End of Australia – yes, only three – When you get into tropical/subtropical zones, you’ll find the weather kind of turns upside down.
The Wet is the right time of year for Summer, and it’s certainly hot enough, but it’s constantly stormy and raining – heavy, tropical rains I’m talking about, rain you can’t see through. The temperature is pretty constant at 33 C (91.4 F) and at times humidity is at 100% which is NOT an exaggeration, you can literally see droplets forming out of the air. Before I moved to Darwin, I didn’t think 100% humidity was possible, I thought you’d have to be underwater for that.
The Dry (Winter elsewhere) sits around 27 C (roughly 80 F) with glorious blue skies and never a cloud in sight. If you see a tiny puff of cloud anywhere, you tend to point it out to people and say, “Look, weather.”
So the Dry looks like Summer, and isn’t, and the Wet looks like winter, and isn’t.
The Build-up is the worst. You get the heat and the humidity, but no rain yet to give relief. People go “Tropo” (crazy) in the Build-up.
The Wet is the exciting time. You get cyclones during the Wet. You get prickly heat, and if you stand still long enough, you might grow mold down one side of your body. Leather goes moldy in your wardrobe. Clothing rots. If you leave your windows open, mold will drape your walls.
We moved out of suburbia and onto 250 acres of wilderness towards the end of the Wet season. We would endure that climate, with not much protection for nearly five years. We never did get a house and we did not live in the caravan – that was my office – anyway, the rats and the quolls moved in (more on that later).
It was while living rough in the wilderness of the subtropics that The Khekarian Threat became the Khekarian series, a science fiction I got very hand-on about when it came to my research – and you couldn’t get more hands-on that this!