On the home front this week we’ve seen a big change in our prevailing weather pattern – from cold and wet to clear and calm.
While this gives respite to some who were battered around a bit, it’s meant big New Zealand weather stories have been few and far between through the week.
There’s been plenty to talk about though, as we’ve seen in the last few days!
First of all, we started with a story from the tinder dry state of California in the United States – where an out of control wildfire scorched 3,500 acres of Southern California drought land in just four hours on Friday.
Check out some of the amazing pictures and eyewitness accounts from the states, here.
â€” SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) July 18, 2015
In global news, June may have been a cold month for Kiwis, but worldwide temperature records at the other end of the scale continued to fall, as scientists in the US recorded the hottest June in 135 years.
The first six months of the year also set a record for warmth, according to the monthly report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), released on Monday.
Even further afield, NASA has released an artist’s impression of a newly discovered planet, hailed as ‘the closest thing to earth’ yet discovered.
Named Kepler 452b, the planet is about 60 per cent larger than Earth.
It could have active volcanoes, oceans, sunshine like ours, twice as much gravity and a year that lasts 385 days, NASA scientists said on Thursday.
â€” NASA (@NASA) July 24, 2015
Back on home soil, residents in Wanganui, Rangitikei and South Taranaki are still dealing with the fallout from last month’s devastating floods – with more than a hundred people still unable to move back into their homes.
According to Whanganui mayor Annette Main, 20 houses remain out-of-bounds due to slip risks, and another 100 are still red-stickered.
Staying in Wanganui, the Insurance Council of New Zealand has signalled that damage from the flooding that hit the district on June 20-21 will far outstrip the $28 million that floods in the Dunedin area cost insurers.
An Insurance Council spokeswoman said the cost of claims from the Wanganui floods would not be finalised until early next month.
This week’s Friends of WeatherWatch interview is another doozy – Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne – who offers up a refreshingly honest view of Wellington, the Beehive and it’s weather – well worth a read! Check it out here.
This weekend brings a new frontal system heading in from the Tasman Sea – set to push our calm weather out to the west, and bring some rain and cloud to many regions.
Check the latest forecast and outlook with Philip Duncan, here.