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Week in Weather: What’s Been Making Headlines this Week

In a week which saw temperatures rise after a chilly 7 days prior, we’ve seen a European heatwave, a July(!) Tropical Cyclone and a couple of aviation mishaps – as well as record breaking rainfall overseas.

We’ll start in India, where tragedy struck last week after monsoon rains washed away businesses, homes and countless diamonds in the country’s mineral rich Amrell district.
Officially, the rains killed 82 people, but that number is too low by about half, because it takes into consideration only residents who are officially on record there.

Meanwhile over in Europe, Britain experienced its hottest July day for 160 years this week, as temperatures hit 36.7C.
Roads melted and hundreds of trains cancelled or delayed over fears that tracks would buckle in the heat.
Ten spectators collapsed at the Henley Royal Regatta and one man died after leaping into a reservoir to cool down in Suffolk. 

Over in North America, one of the country’s largest ever livestock shipments has made landfall safe and sound – after 16 days at sea – with nearly 45,000 healthy breeding ewes and 3000 cattle quarantined on quality Mexican pastures, and the South Island economy is around $15 million richer according to the broker of the shipment.
Around 100 trucks took one of the largest live sheep breeding exports in New Zealand history to quarantine, on their way to drought stricken Mexican farmers desperate to replace culled livestock in one of the worst droughts on record. 

On the other side of the world, Australia has seen its fair share of midwinter rains – with some places in Queensland recording their wettest ever June.
Cairns has so far collected 150mm for the month, its wettest June on record, beating the previous record of 144m set in 1987.

Staying in the Tropics, two months after the supposed end of the Tropical Cyclone season, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has published details of Cyclone Raquel near the Solomon Islands.
The cyclone was not large by Tropical standards, with sustained winds near the centre of 65 km/h – and gusts of up to 95km/h – but it’s still an anomaly at this time of year!

Back on home soil, enduring drought conditions throughout much of Canterbury have forced parties to come to the table over potential red meat industry reform.
Both stock agents and meat processors are rallying together to come up with a solution for farmers impacted by the prolonged dry spell – something that many say has never happened before on a large scale.

There were two aviation stories which came to our attention this week – both of them extremely close calls!
First, we received some incredible images from a Delta Air flight through Chinese airspace which came off second best in a fight with a hailstorm.
Then, we ran a story from Rarotonga, where three tourists were hospitalised after sustaining injuries at the jet-blast area on the inland end of the International Airport’s runway.
The tourists were all taken to hospital in an ambulance on Thursday after been blown over while watching an Air New Zealand Boeing 777 take off.

We also announced the winners of our midwinter solstice photo competition – with two eagle eyed photographers taking home our great prizes from Wet n Forget this week.
The winning entries are below, but check out the full gallery, here, if you haven’t already!

– Neil Julian “Gisborne botanical gardens ,the yellow bush was full of monarchs, no one told them it was winter or shorts day on a beautiful warm sunny afternoon

– Heather Pearce “In bloom, Port Hills, Christchurch. Bright and cherry“.

This week’s Friends of WeatherWatch interview is with weather ambassador and New Zealand media personality Bob McDavitt – a true authority on all things climate related!
It’s a great read, and well worth checking out.

And finally, have a look at’s full detailed July forecast for your region, including the possibility of another icy cold blast coming in the second half of the month, here, as well as a more detailed article on the possibility of snowfall to low levels around the country next week(!) right here.

– Drew Chappell,

– Photo: Telegraph


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