BRITAIN'S late, and much lamented, humour magazine Punch once ran a cartoon showing a bowler-hatted chap standing on London's meteorological bureau steps.
The apparently astonished weather forecaster, furled umbrella in hand, glances around wide-eyed and incredulous above the line drawing's caption: "Snow? In January?"
The cartoon was not only a comment on the Pommie weather bureau's legendary inability (up to and including the 1960s, at least) of fulfilling its primary function in forecasting the weather but also the British unpreparedness to cope with extreme winter conditions.
Outdoor plumbing pipes went unlagged and the Poms acted as if they resided in a perpetually warm, if somewhat wet, wonderland surprisingly interrupted by snow and slush.
The cartoon concerning the predictability of seasons comes to mind with the prevailing hot and steamy prevailing conditions in the capital city of New South Wales.
For there is much alarm, even despondency, concerning various recent heatwaves that have rocked Sydney.
Let alone the surrounding countryside seeing bushfires erupt all over a tinder-dry state.
Yet the weird aspect as far as any Tasmanian abroad is concerned is how New South Welshpersons have reacted with naked hysteria considering the predictability at this annual heatwave.
Winter? Cold, check, switch the electric blanket to 7. Summer? Hot, double check, head for the beach.
Now any warmth whatsoever and it's down to climate change.
Granted, temperatures do not often go post-40 degrees here even if there are firm historical precedents.
A correspondent to the Sydney Morning Herald, Barry Anderson, of Roseville, last week pointed out that marine captain and meteorologist Watkin Tench once recorded temperatures of up to 42.8 degrees - on December 27, 1790.
"Sydney was about as hot (in 1790) as the hottest day the First Fleeters experienced in their first four years," Anderson says.
Which has done nothing to placate modern-day global warming cultists.
One writer to a Sydney newspaper, for example, feared she was "starting a bushfire in my own head".
The correspondent said she had "spent the day cowering in the mall" (air-conditioned) followed by a movie in a theatre (ditto).
And all, she reckoned, owing to climate change.
Another writer went to certain lengths to explain how he had tried to "explain to my prostrate cat" why the heat was because of "climate- changing gases".
Less agitated commentators may well have pointed out that the prevailing sweltering conditions were the result of two years of rainy La Nina weather cycles followed by a four-month unusually dry spell.
In the meantime, the media has played its role in keeping what the UK's Sun newspaper once headlined "PHEW WHAT A SCORCHER" hysteria alive.
Apparently, Sydney ice-cream trucks could not hit the rapidly melting bitumen because the vehicles' compressors didn't like it too hot.
"You could blow a compressor and it's going to cost you two grand," Sydney Ice-Cream business owner Ned Qutami told the Herald.
And the mercury was obviously squirting from the top of the thermometer in Oodnadatta with newspapers doing the old "cracking an egg on the road" trick to see if it fried.
Hey, guess what? That googy egg did, and if that ain't positive proof of climate change, well, we'll eat our tropical-issue khaki shorts.
All fun and games must end, of course, even for global warming cultists and their gullible fans.
Autumn and winter follow hot summers and weather alarmists will be forced to fold their circus tents until next year.
Meanwhile, more news on the weather front from the British Met which this week admitted that, er, its forecast of global warming up to 2017 must be tweaked downward to the extent that it did not think there would be any.
You can see the Pommie Met bloke standing on the bureau steps exclaiming: "Climate change? Don't think so."