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

It’s been a crazy start to 2016, with deadly storms, tropical cyclones, heavy rains, snow and unseasonal heat dominating headlines here and around the world.

This week has been no exception, as we saw several astonishing stories from around the globe make our news – while the weather here has been noteworthy too!

Firstly, we go to the USA, where icy roads, snow-covered runways and blocked train tracks threaten to snarl morning travel Monday in many East Coast cities, days after a massive blizzard clobbered the region.
At least 16 people died as a result of the storm — six in North Carolina, three in Virginia, one in Kentucky, three in New York City, one in Maryland, one in Ohio and one in Washington.
Officials have cited a higher collective death toll, but CNN has not been able to confirm the individual reports, and it’s unclear if all reports of death are weather-related.

A little farther afield, and record low temperatures have wreaked havoc in several Asian countries, with 85 people reported dead in Taiwan and tens of thousands stranded at airports because of the unprecedented cold snap.
In South Korea, at least 90,300 saw their flights canceled over last weekend due to bad weather and more than 10,000 travelers faced severe delays at Kunming airport in southwestern China.

Closer to home, over in Australia, they’ve been dealing with their fair share of weather this week too – as a tropical low that has developed off Western Australia’s north west coast is expected to strengthen into a category two cyclone just before it crosses the coast today.

In other Pacific news, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is forecasting the chance of north-west WA’s first cyclone for the season after El Nino caused hotter and drier than average conditions.
“The potential then increases for tropical lows or even a tropical cyclone, and that’s what we’re anticipating as we move into the back end of this week.”

Back on home soil, parts of New Zealand have seen unseasonably warm, humid conditions after a bit of a damp squib of a start to summer.
Last weekend, parts of Auckland were sweltering in 30C temperatures, with private weather stations reporting temperatures over 30 degrees.
With other parts of the country in similar shape, the scorching summer days and hot sticky nights are bringing out the best in Kiwi ingenuity.
Check out some of the best ideas for cooling down (on a budget) that enterprising New Zealanders have tried this summer – right here.


New Year’s Eve activities. #makeitmammoth

Posted by Daniel Galvin on Wednesday, December 30, 2015

On the other side of the weather, ex-cyclone Victor passed us by this week, with some distruptive effects on our swell levels on the east coasts of both islands.
Check out some of the spectacular looking swell maps as the remnants of the storm swept past the country, right here.
Meanwhile, conditions in the North and South Islands were contrasted quite markedly early in the week, as temperature maps provided a really cool comparison. Check the pictures out, here.

We saw some spectacular displays in the night skies this week too, as, for the first time in more than 10 years it is possible to see all five “bright” planets together in the sky.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have aligned and can be seen above New Zealand until about mid-February.

And finally, don’t forget to check out all your weather for the weekend with Philip Duncan in the weekend weather video, here.

– Drew Chappell,


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