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Cartoon: The funny side of frustrating weather

This funny cartoon was sent in to by reader David Brown.

David says he swears the cartoon maker has been watching Northland’s weather patterns.

Cartoon by XKCD

Weather Radar



Ken Ring on 9/12/2010 9:03am

It is very funny to see forecasters going both ways at once. Both Renwick and McDavitt have issued conflicting reports within a week.
According to Niwa’s three-month climate outlook Kiwis can expect a hotter, drier summer than usual with the driest weather expected in the far South.

Torrential rain, floods, drenched campers and national embarrassment about Auckland’s weather could all be in store this summer.

At least one is bound to be correct.

WW Forecast Team on 9/12/2010 9:32am

Ken they are both correct – but talking about different aspects of La Nina. 

The reporters (both from seperate organisations) focused on two sides of the story.  The Renwick story is admittedly quite confusing, but mentions the south being in drought – which is a standard La Nina forecast – as is the wet summer predicted by McDavitt for the north.

I do agree with you that it appears to be comedy – two opposite stories about our summer.  But I believe the reporting angles are mostly to blame for the confusion and not the quotes given.

This article I wrote the other day clears up the confusion:


Ken Ring on 9/12/2010 9:55am

Phil, sorry, I think defending the contradiction makes a silly situation worse. I don’t buy it and I don’t think the public do either. If they meant something else then it is irresponsible to be so confusing, when both men are both tertiary-educated enough to be able to express themselves without confusion, and duty bound to warn the public of one condition or the other. Both talk about the summer as an overall summation – neither said it is two aspects of the one condition, which is easy to say. I understand your desire to minimise conflict, but don’t you think it demonstrates exactly what the cartoonist was trying to tell us?

WW Forecast Team on 9/12/2010 10:10am

No, I think the cartoonist was poking fun at the frustrating nature of weather.

And you’re missing a very important point with regards to those two stories – neither Bob or James wrote them.  Reporters did – and those reporters pick and chose the quotes they want to use.   It’s also the reporters that come up with the headlines and the angle of the story.  The overall summation comes from the reporter. 

I also don’t think you can say that "the public" agree with your thoughts on the matter.  I think they were genuinely confused and since my article (link above) I’ve had only positive feedback about the clarification.


Ken Ring on 9/12/2010 10:23am

A fair point, as reporters do misquote. If so then these two gentlemen need to go public urgently on that, because it is a joke as it stands. La Nina’s more NEs would mean more rain for the North island, so ‘drought’ would immediately have to go out the window. Really you have to wonder where the new supercomputer called FitzRoy, which cost us $42m, is being deployed.
I think there will be a drought, but not due to La Nina.

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