Has NZ ever experienced Cat5 winds?

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Blog by Philip Duncan

It's a question I've been asked plenty of times lately - has a main centre in New Zealand ever recorded winds equal to a category 5 cyclone?

The answer... is yes - although it wasn't because of a tropical cyclone.  But it did have connections with the tropics.

Topographical maps now online

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If you’re a keen tramper, angler, hunter, or other outdoor pursuit enthusiast you’re likely to already be familiar with the official LINZ ‘NZTopo’ Topographic Map Series, traditionally purchased as printed paper maps.

Air NZ cancels flights to Cairns ahead of Cyclone

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#Yasi - @FlyAirNZ - Air New Zealand has this evening suspended travel to Cairns ahead of severe tropical cyclone Yasi.

The airline advises that due to poor weather caused by Cyclone Yasi and the planned closure of Cairns Airport facilities Wednesday morning, flights NZ775 Auckland to Cairns and NZ776 Cairns to Auckland on Wednesday 2 February are now cancelled.

Photos: What do King Fishers eat?

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Recently reader Paul Huffam sent us these incredible photos of a King Fisher - and his, or her, favourite meal.

Great photos Paul - thanks for uploading them to our site.

If you have strange/quirky weather or environmental photos, please send them in to us.  Click here to easily upload from your computer.

NZ's weather pattern about to change

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After three weeks of sub-tropical activity over northern New Zealand the weather pattern is now about to change. predicts the next 10 days will be dominated by more westerlies and the chances of sub-tropical development remains "low".

When is it too hot to work?

Filed in: looks into OSH guidelines on how hot and cold weather can affect your job.

Many of us have certainly complained about it - "It's too hot  to work" or "It's illegal to keep us here if the temperature rises above or below...".

Your Opinion: Storms - what's in a name?

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Within five days New Zealand has been affected by three systems coming from tropical or sub-tropical origins - two were ex-tropical cyclones with names and had huge news coverage, the other has no name, poses a greater threat to more populated areas, but doesn't seem as newsworthy in the mainstream media.

ZELIA - What are conditions like where you are?

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Throughout today will have numerous updates as ex-tropical cyclone Zelia approaches and crosses New Zealand.

Due to the increased number of updates expected today we thought we'd start a seperate thread for weather conditions where you are - making it easy for everyone to contribute and all in one place.

As Zelia approaches we're keen to hear what conditions are like where you are.

Post weather observations from your weather station, weather website, or just from looking out the kitchen or office window!

Scorching heat ahead of cool change

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Christchurch has rocketed to 34 degrees this afternoon as a blustery nor'wester and mostly clear skies push across the region.

The heat is affecting Canterbury roughly north of Banks Peninsula, with a cooler southerly moving in behind it.

Tropics: Vania loses strength as Zelia gains it

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Vania has this afternoon been downgraded to an ex-tropical cyclone 24 hours earlier than previously predicted reports

We have extensive coverage of the approching tropical systems - see below for all the details on both Vania and Zelia.