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Week in Weather – What’s been making headlines this week

What a week! Record breaking temperatures, historic flooding and damaging wind gusts have all featured in this week’s weather news – both at home and abroad.

Let’s start with our monthly climate summary – featuring a very wet September for many eastern parts of New Zealand, as a result of much lower air pressure than normal on both eastern coasts and inland.
Overall, September 2015 was characterised by air pressures that were higher than normal over the South Island and southwest of New Zealand, and lower than normal to the south and east of the country.
Check out the full report, including sunshine, temperature and soil moisture levels, here.

There was tragic news from Central America to start the week, as dozens of people were killed and many more left missing, after a massive landslide covered much of a town in Guatemala.
The rain-soaked side of a hill crashed down onto El Cambray, burying dozens of homes, said National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, Alejandro Maldonado.

Staying in the Americas, and South Carolina was in the headlines this week too, as record breaking rainfall caused chaos across parts of the state on Monday.
It’s a historic flood the likes of which we haven’t seen,” Eric Rousey said.
Tens of thousands were stranded without power, and thousands more isolated by the flooding, and dozens of dams eventually breached.

Closer to home, parts of Australia have seen the hottest start to spring on record, as South Australia and Victoria both set new early spring temperature highs.
Check out some of the figures, here.

Back on home soil, this week has been about two weather features – wind and warmth.
We started the week in blustery fashion, with some parts of the lower South Island recording wind gusts of more than 170km/h on the weekend!

The working week started in similar fashion, as damaging nor’westers blasted through coastal Canterbury, with gales gusting to 90km/h around Christchurch region.

Check out the amazing footage from this Canterbury motorway, showing a water tank blown down the road!

The other big talking point for many was the heat – with summer-like temperatures dominating our conditions in the early part of the week, particularly in the South Island.
Dunedin city hit the mid 20s as early as 10am on Tuesday, while later in the day some places broke the 30 degree mark – amazing for this time of year!

It was a similar story early on Wednesday in places, including the North Island, before a dramatic temperature change caused conditions to grow dramatically colder in just minutes.

Check out these incredible pictures from southern Australia (and even NZ) of the latest aurora australis, a phenomenon caused when electrically charged electrons and protons accelerate down the Earth’s magnetic field lines and collide with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere – usually about 100 kilometres above the Earth.

And finally, don’t forget to check in with Philip Duncan and our latest weather video, to get a guage on your conditions this weekend!

– Drew Chappell,

– Photo:


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