We’ll start in Fiji, where residents of the city of Nadi dealt with more heavy rain and flooding – in a community hard-hit by Cyclone Winston little more than a month ago.
Flooding was to be the least of their worries, however, as it emerged that Tropical Cyclone Zena was making a beeline for the island nation – prompting warnings for the central Lau and Lomaiviti island groups to prepare for damaging winds and flooding.
â€” BOM Australia (@BOM_au) April 5, 2016
Cyclone Zena eventually passed to the south of Fiji overnight on Wednesday, not hitting quite as hard as expected – to widespread relief.
WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said Cyclone Zena has tracked as predicted, and headed past the south of the island nation.
In the wake of the storm, business owners say that the damage will set their companies – and country – back by 10 years, as efforts now need to be made to simply returning their stores and communities to a functional state.
Moving further south in the Pacific to Australia, and new video released on Monday from the World Wildlife Fund reveals coral reef bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef, one of the country’s most important tourist sites.
The extreme bleaching event, which began several weeks ago near Lizard Island off Australia’s northeast coast, has prompted the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to raise its response level to its highest level (3). Check out the images below.
Staying in Australia, and parts of Sydney experienced the hottest April day on record this week, with the weather bureau saying the temperature reached 34.2 degrees Celsius at Observatory Hill about 1:30pm on Thursday.
The last April record of 33.9 degrees was set in 1986!
â€” Paul Walker (@pdwnews) April 6, 2016
Staying with sizzling hot temperatures, and a ‘computer error’ meant temperatures were tipped to soar past boiling point – to heat never before seen on Earth – on Monday this week.
In temperatures that paralleled the heat experienced on the planet closest to the sun, a glitch on the government forecaster’s website and app meant many parts of the country were set to melt in unsurvivable heat.
â€” KIM POSSIBLE (@robotexplosion) April 3, 2016
Many kiwi eyes were on the night sky this week, as we received reports from several different parts of New Zealand reporting sightings of a bright, spectacular meteor above us on Tuesday night.
A Wellington photographer who captured the meteor flashing across the night sky believes the fluke picture might well prove the shot of his life.
An astronomer says the object that Jono Matla photographed at about 9pm last night was a fireball – a brighter-than-normal meteor – and was likely the size of a tennis ball and travelling at between 10km to 30km per second.
– Jono Matla
Not only that, we were truly spoiled for meteor goodies a short time later, as WeatherWatcher Peter Firmin sent us this video, showing a spectacular meteor flash across the skies in Rai Valley, near Nelson.
Peter says that on watching the footage back, “there are numerous small white lights, explosions in the atmosphere as well, before and after the meteor.”
Staying in stargazing mode, NASA’s Hubble Telescope did it again this week – as the Hubble’s infrared vision looked deep into the heart of the Milky Way galaxy, and captured an image revealing more than half a million stars at its centre. It’s said to be the densest star cluster in our galaxy.
“Packed with stars, it is equivalent to having a million suns crammed between us and our closest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri,” NASA said in a statement.
Thrilling: Hubble’s sharpest image of the Orion Nebula! pic.twitter.com/pTDwVwK9Ai
â€” World and Science (@WorldAndScience) April 2, 2016
And finally, don’t forget to check out your weekend weather outlook with Philip Duncan, here – and vote in this week’s poll, below!
– Drew Chappell, WeatherWatch.co.nz
– Photo: Jono Matla