Suddenly, everyone's talking about the weather. There was a time when only the Brits greeted each other by looking at the sky and remarking on the rain or shine (the old joke being that if it wasn't raining, it was about to be).
But now Australians rival them as weather obsessives.
In the last three months, Google searches for "weather" in Australia have been seven times more than for "sex"!
The Bureau of Meteorology has 828,908 Facebook followers and more than 100,000 on Twitter.
The number of people using its weather app grew by 42.3 per cent in the past year. People went on it 348 million times over the year.
It seems the smoke is in our nostrils and on our minds. When media people in Sydney worry about smoke outside the studio window, you know it's serious. Some in the ABC have bought masks. This is big, very big.
But does it add up to anything? Does the changing weather change the political climate?
In country Australia, of course, they've observed the weather since colonial times and way before. The weather affects food and livelihood, even life and death.
Every good farmer can tell you how many millimeters of rain there's been and whether that's above average ("below", is the invariable answer). Aboriginal peoples observed changing vegetation and animal life as indications of seasons.
But townies have taken the weather as it comes.
That seems to be changing. Australians were searching more online for "weather" than for "sex", according to Professor Lawrie Zion who wrote The Weather Obsession.
"According to Google, 'sex' was a much more popular search term than 'weather' in 2004. But by the beginning of 2017, 'weather' outstripped 'sex' by a ratio of four to one - a trend replicated in several other western countries."
But we remain more worried about paying the bills than we do about global warming, according to Mark McCrindle whose research organisation, McCrindle Research, took the pulse of the country in November.
Asked about worries over the next decade, nearly 40 per cent were "extremely concerned" about climate change compared with 48 per cent similarly worried about "rising living costs".
But it's not simple. Ranking with "living costs" as an extreme concern was "rural communities and drought". Do worries about drought mean worries about the broader, more political subject of climate change?
"Australians are very practical people. They aren't much caught up in global debate and politics. Their concerns are about what they experience," Mr McCrindle said.
"Practical experience is bringing to the fore for them an issue which was a bit more esoteric before. It's now landing on the front door."
But a caveat: particularly in conservative country Australia, some might say they were fearful of drought but then not associate it with climate change.
Attitudes may be changing. A year ago, about 200 farmers held a "Farmers for Climate Action" demonstration outside Parliament House against climate change. But 200 farmers do not a revolution make.
And rising concern about global warming doesn't translate easily into votes. In the Australian election in May, the party portrayed as less radical on climate change won. The same in Britain and the United States.
This week, activists were planning a climate protest outside the Prime Minister's residence in smokey Kirribilli but the polls aren't indicating any great movement against the occupant's policies since his election victory.
There has been a gradual, year by year rise in concern about climate change but it's not an even rise.
The Lowy Institute reports that 61 per cent of Australians think that "global warming is a serious and pressing problem" and that "we should begin taking steps now even if that involves significant costs".
In 2012, only one in three (rather than the latest two in three) Australians felt the same.
But before you conclude that there's been a revolution in attitudes, you should note that the 2019 level of concern is the same as it was in 2008. Concern about global warming rises and dips.
The Australia Institute found similar high levels of concern about climate change in its poll in September.
But polls should be taken with a pinch of salt. Remember, they predicted a Labor victory in May.
They can over-simplify and get conflicting answers. Are we against climate change? We are? Who should pay to curb it? Not me, matey!
In the Australia Institute research, for example, people are asked: "Who Should Pay for the Costs of Dealing with Climate Impacts?"
Only 16 per cent say "the taxpayer" while 38 per cent say "coal, oil and gas companies". Concern is cheap. Action, less so.