A FORECAST run of temperatures in the 30s this week would indicate that Bathurst's belated summer is about to arrive.
But how many of us will really miss it if it never gets firing this time around?
Accustomed to grey, gloomy winters that bleed well into late autumn and early spring, locals usually look forward to the long days of December, January and February, when the pool is calling, the backyard vegies are bouncing out of the ground and the sun has a bit of a bite in it that is absent for the rest of the year.
That's as long as the temperature doesn't get beyond 35 degrees or so, of course, - which, on our cool Central Tablelands, constitutes a heatwave and can lead to the occasional outbreak of panic.
By that measure, this summer, with its consistent days in the 20s and overnight minimums in the single figures as recently as the last week, hasn't lived up to its part of the bargain so far.
What makes this time around different, however, is that it follows a December, January and February that was two years' worth of summers rolled into one.
It was clear, as the pea-souper bushfire smoke first started to roll across the state in late 2019, that we were in for a hot season like no other and so it played out.
As the east coast burned, successive heatwaves crawled across the continent and dams supplying our major population centres dwindled, the only thing to do was to count down the days to autumn.
We now know, of course, that the weather patterns shifted and the rain came. The fires were extinguished (eventually) and the smoke disappeared.
But if this is to be a mild summer, it will provide a rest that was earned 12 months ago.
It will be a rest for the scorched earth along the east coast still struggling to recover after the 2019-20 firestorms, a rest for our firies who gave so much battling those horrific blazes and a rest for our replenished water storages.
Here in Bathurst, if the second half of the hot season turns out to follow the general pattern of the first, then we can surely be prepared to put up with fewer pool days and more cool starts.
After a double summer last year, we can consider this our extended spring.
If nothing else, it will save on air-conditioning bills. And free up some time that would otherwise be spent watering.