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

Another week gone, and it’s been HOT – maybe not so much here in New Zealand, but in other parts of the world, temperatures have been rising steadily, causing concern – especially in Australia.

We’ll start across the Tasman, where Aussie forecasters were picking the week just gone as a hot one – warning of severe and extreme conditions in parts of the country.

Temperatures rose steadily from Tuesday in all states except Tasmania, caused by a large high pressure system moving east across the country from Western Australia.

Of course, with the heat, at this time of year, the danger of bushfires increases, and with conditions the most intense since at least last summer, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and much of these states are about to experience worse fire weather conditions than in early-to-mid October, the last time a wave of hot, dry winds blew across the region.
Some inland areas exceeded 40 degrees as humidity dropped below 10 percent, and winds gusted to 40-to-50 km/h, while fires raged near Perth – aided by the ideal conditions.

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the country, a heatwave in New South Wales pushed temperatures in Sydney to 41 degrees Celsius on Friday, with 30 national parks across the state’s south being closed due to an increased fire risk.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said heatwave conditions were being caused by an approaching front and a slow-moving high pressure system over the Tasman Sea.

The long-anticipated arrival of that mysterious object from outer space came and went Friday last week without alien invasion or planetary destruction.
But scientists who orchestrated a rapid response to the recently discovered object declared their effort to be a smashing success.
Check out the spectacular video below!

El Niño has been on everyone’s lips recently, and this week was no exception – and while others are focused on the extreme side of El Nino globally, continues to take a sensible and realistic approach to the current pattern around New Zealand and how El Nino may be impacting it now, and into the several weeks ahead.
Check out our forecast for the coming months, here.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is concerned, and rightly so, because we’re seeing the extremes of El Nino on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.
On one side of the Pacific, large tracts of Australia are gripped by drought triggered by the phenomenon.
On the opposite side, the desert coastline of Peru is preparing for devastating rain.
In the next few months it could deliver a multi-billion-dollar damages bill from landslides, floods, failed crops and the collapse of the world’s largest anchovy fishery.

And further afield, American climate scientists are also predicting a grave few months ahead, as the strongest El Ni̱o in 18 years continues to intensify Рsaying it is likely to be one of the three strongest on record by the time it peaks this winter.
This El Niño is then expected to weaken in the spring, disappearing altogether by late spring or early summer 2016 (winter NZT), the November El Niño diagnostic discussion from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said.

In more grim news, it looks like Earth is already halfway to the “danger zone”, according to global data from NOAA released Thursday this week.
The report shows that the average temperature across the entire planet for the month of October was a record shattering 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than average for the month of October — making it the highest average temperature reached compared to normal in Earth’s historical record.

And finally, check out what’s coming up for your weekend with Philip Duncan, here – and rate your 2015 spring in our latest poll below if you haven’t yet!

– Drew Chappell,


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