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

Whales, volcanoes, typhoons and snowstorms – this week has had a little bit of pretty much everything! We’re starting to see temperatures slowly rise after a few bitterly cold weeks in some places – though there’s still some winter weather left in the tank…

We started the week with some concerning volcano related news, as alerts were issued in both Ecuador and Japan.
Cotopaxi, a volcano not far from the Ecuadorean capital of Quito, spewed ash several times, sending large gray puffs 3 miles into the sky, officials said.
Meanwhile in Japan, the Sakurajima volcano showed increased activity Saturday, experts said.

Residents of Machachi, Ecuador wear masks Friday afternoon.

Staying in Asia, and just one week after Typhoon Soudelor raked Saipan, Taiwan, Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and southeast China, the tropical western Pacific recharged with a pair of tropical cyclones this week.
Twin typhoons Goni and Atsani are churning through the tropical western Pacific Ocean.
One is beginning to affect the northern Philippines and Taiwan, and will also affect Japan’s Ryukyu Islands this weekend.

In further international news, last month was the warmest ever recorded, according to the state of the climate report released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday.
The monthly average temperature for the globe was 61.86 degrees Fahrenheit (16.61 degree Celsius), which is higher than all 1,627 months in the period of record.

El Nino remains a confusing topic – because of the way it affects the northern and southern hemispheres – and so Philip Duncan wrote another opinion piece explaining the differences in effects for the USA and New Zealand.
Put simply, El Nino is when warm waters in the Pacific – around the equator – are blown eastwards towards the Americas …so the seas warm up around the eastern Pacific near places like California, Mexico and southwards to the nations of central America and north western South America.

A little closer to home, and Tasmania experienced some truly wintry conditions this week, as snow fell heavily in some parts of the state – leading to joy for tourists and annoyance for locals.
The heaviest falls in more than a decade led to dangerous roads, isolated communities and some tourism operators struggling to get supplies.

Back on home soil, we received some incredible footage of a travelling guest this week – a Southern Right Whale which has been making its way up our eastern coastline – according to the Department of Conservation.
This amazing footage was sent through to us by Sam Price from OXS Enterprises – you can check out his YouTube account here.

After some truly chilling winter temperatures this year, the days are now getting longer, and many of us are seeing signs of early spring.
Philip Duncan explains why it’s likely that the really cold conditions are probably behind us until next year, here.

Be sure to check out this week’s “friends of WeatherWatch” interview – with legendary Radio Sport DJ Martin Devlin – a passionate broadcaster, a loving Father and a fiercely funny human being.

Check out what your weekend has in store around the country with Philip Duncan’s latest weather video, here – and vote in this week’s poll below!

– Drew Chappell,

– Photo:


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