Your web browser (Internet Explorer) is out of date. Some things will not look right and things might not work properly. Please download an up-to-date and free browser from here.

The Winter Solstice, more deadly lightning and a Strawberry Moon – Your Week in Weather Headlines

It’s been a week of highs and lows at home, with warm northerly winds mixed with heavy rains and localised flooding – while internationally, we’ve seen several tragedies related to the weather.

Let’s start in the Northern Hemisphere, where keen observers were treated to a rare sight on Monday night – a Strawberry Moon – and there won’t be another like it until 2062.
The full moon on Monday (Tuesday NZT) was the first to coincide with the June solstice in decades, and the name “strawberry” was never meant to indicate any weird colour change, but was rather a reference to June, when strawberry crops would be ripe.

Another week and yet another deadly lightning strike – with at least 90 people Tuesday in four Indian states as monsoon rains swept across much of the country.
In 2014, 2,582 people died in lightning strikes, according to the government, making lightning the leading killer among all natural disasters in India.

Temperatures across the North Island and some parts of the South Island were well above average this week – with records being broken and challenged thanks to the sub-tropical airflow.

But the spell of extra warm winter weather in New Zealand is nothing compared to the “oppressive” heatwave hitting the western and central USA.
Yesterday Needles in California hit 51.6 degrees Celsius, while Death Valley went even higher with 52.2C, and Palm Springs California reached 50 degrees.

Staying international, and May was the 13th month in a row to break temperature records according to figures published this week.
The figures are the latest in 2016’s string of incredible climate records, which scientists have described as “a bombshell” and an “emergency”.
The series of smashed global records, particularly the extraordinary heat in February and March, has provoked a stunned reaction from climate scientists, who are warning that climate change has reached unprecedented levels and is no longer only a threat for the future.

A powerful tornado and hailstorm struck the outskirts of an eastern Chinese city on Friday, killing at least 78 people and destroying buildings, smashing trees and flipping vehicles on their roofs.
The tornado hit a densely populated area of farms and factories near the city of Yancheng in Jiangsu province, about 800 kilometres south of Beijing, injuring nearly 500 people, 200 of them critically, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Auckland’s western sky at sunset is no stranger to spectacular clouds, but Monday night was something different – in fact a “punch hole” cloud (known more technically as a Fallstreak Hole) seems to have appeared near the Waitakere Ranges just on sunset.
This photo was sent to on Monday night by Jesse Ball on Twitter:

While our friends at Wunderground were kind enough to provide a pictorial description of the bizarre cloud formations:

And finally, since our breaking news this month that the New Zealand Government is finally going to officially investigate public weather data being truly opened up from NIWA & MetService’s commercial sales people, we’ve been asked by LINZ to help with their Open Data project on Twitter (@OpenDataNZ), asking New Zealanders to vote for the most important NZ datasets they would like to see opened up.

Don’t forget to vote in this week’s poll, below, and check out the weather for your part of the world with Philip Duncan’s latest weather video, here!



Related Articles