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

Another busy week for weather analysts and trainspotters – both here and abroad, particularly across the Tasman!

We will start in Australia, where the ACT and Victoria could not have experienced a more different June – while Brisbane has been baking in the heat and dry, residents across VIC and NSW this week were almost underwater – as strong winds and snow blizzards lashed much of the country’s south-east.
The Bureau of Meteorology said winds of up to 122kph had been recorded in Victoria on Wednesday.
Storm surges caused flooding in central Melbourne. The Yarra River burst its banks in places and the Ponyfish Island restaurant at Southbank was under water.
The winds also brought down powerlines, at one stage leaving more than 77,000 homes across Victoria without power, while emergency crews in NSW worked to restore power to about 12,000 homes predominantly in the Illawarra and on the South Coast.

Staying in our neck of the woods, and there was some mild geological activity in and around NZ this week, too – with two quakes near Raoul Island, with magnitudes of 6.9 and 6.3, hit within minutes of each other, according to USGS data.
The larger of the two was originally reported by the USGS to be a 7.2-magnitude, but that measure was later downgraded to 6.9.
The quakes all a depth of about 12 miles, and happened about 50 miles southeast of Raoul Island.

Meanwhile, further north, a tsunami advisory was cancelled after a strong earthquake near Alaska’s Aleutian Islands triggered a tsunami warning, but only small waves measuring several centimeters hit coastal communities.
The cancelations followed a magnitude-7.9 earthquake, which was widely felt in sparsely populated villages in an area about 2253km southwest of Anchorage.

Back on home soil, and West Coasters were blown about this week by a small tornado, which caused some damage to property, and gave two residents in particular, a nasty surprise.
Rutherglen resident Nelly Hofman said she and her husband were inside when the tornado hit after 10.30am.
“That morning was pretty foul weather … then out of the blue there was a crack.”
Their large wooden shed was picked up and blown 10 metres into a fence in front of their house.

Staying with NZ storms, and the Herald this week ran an editorial about the length of time taken to sort out electricity and water issues in Auckland, following this month’s storms.
Henderson resident Gary Hall, one of the victims, summed up matters when he said: “We lived in India for five months, and it’s actually easier … putting up with their Third World antics than it is living here in New Zealand when you think we’re in the 21st century and they can’t get anything like this sorted.”
You can read the full article here.

In aviation news, a pilot put the safety of six crew and 128 passengers at risk when he failed to initiate a mandatory missed approach when landing in foggy conditions, a transport watchdog has determined.
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) determined the captain failed to comply with the procedures and perform the mandatory missed approach because he was under stress brought on by the anxiety of having the check captain on board, the Canterbury earthquakes and other personal health issues.
The TAIC also determined that the captain’s failures should have been picked up and challenged by the first officer before the aeroplane reached decision height.

Staff on Mount Ruapehu have been preparing for the official opening of ski season this weekend – and Callum Learmouth, Safety Services Manager at Mt Ruapehu, has been talking about recent weather conditions, the outlook for the season, and snowmaking in the sunshine!
Check out the video here.

And finally, you can read Weatherwatch’s latest outlook for the rest of June here, as well as Philip Duncan’s weather video for the weekend ahead.

-Drew Chappell for

– Picture: Nicholas McBride; Greymouth Star


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