Does noise worsen on warm days?

·1 min read

Yap, yap, yap. You’ve just got the garden chairs out and settled down with a cold drink and a book, ready to enjoy the blissful warmth of a summer’s evening when the neighbour’s dog begins its incessant yapping. Typical. Minutes later someone adds to the cacophony by starting up their strimmer. What is it about warm weather and noise?

Turns out you are not the only one to get hot and bothered by noise on warm days. A study analysing weather data and noise complaints in the Australian city of Brisbane reveals that noise-related disputes tend to peak in the summer and autumn, and are more likely when the weather is windy, humid or hot.

The cause is most likely a mix of noise carrying further under these weather conditions, and a greater likelihood of people being outside or having windows open, so more prone to being bothered by noise. More than three-quarters of the complaints were about animal noise, with areas lacking green space faring the worst.

Although not hugely surprising, the findings, which are published in Weather, Climate and Society, can be used to anticipate when noise complaints are likely to rise; making sure more noise enforcement officers are available, or prioritising waste collections before a storm blows into town, for example.

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