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

There hasn’t been much in the way of good news this week – most of the major events in weather both home and abroad have ranged somewhere between alarming and slightly depressing…but with every cloud comes a silver lining, and there is a positive spin to be put on most of the following!

Europe was battered around a bit this week, with squalls and heavy rains causing problems particularly in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with flooding and high winds damaging property and trees.
A squall which swept across the coast of Northern Ireland capsized nearly 100 GP14 sailing dinghies, and set in motion a large scale rescue operation for those in the choppy water.
Thankfully, no-one was seriously injured, though 10 needed medical attention and showed signs of hypothermia. BRRR!

In an interesting story at the start of the week, we ran footage of some orcas in Manukau harbour, when a large pod was spotted by some eagle-eyed beachgoers. Great stuff!
Check out the footage, here.

There’s been some mixed news coming across the Tasman this week, after the Bureau of Meteorlogy recently published its latest drought statement, with north-eastern New South Wales recording serious to severe rainfall deficiencies.
It showed that much of the North Coast has endured its second-driest 12 months on record, with the weather not looking likely to turn anytime soon.
Meanwhile, in the outback, a low pressure trough has finally started producing rain and storms over extremely dry parts of southwestern Queensland, northwestern New South Wales and eastern South Australia.

Some good news out of these cooler conditions at the end of winter, with the Remarkables finally looking the part as a premiere snow sports destination.
The winter has been a tough one for Otago ski fields, with only sporadic snow, but all that’s changed over the past couple of weeks.
The Remarkables now has a base of more than a metre and a half in places, with 35cm falling in the last two days.
In unrelated snow news, check out these photos from around the North Island, sent in by snow covered and kiwis (and their pets).

After a summer and autumn in which we saw major flooding events in both islands, local authorities both southern and northern are in the process of deciding the best way forward to repair and prevent damage in the future.
The Christchurch City Council heard from the city’s Flooding Task Force this week, after it presented its final report, incorporating three months of investigation into the causes of and solutions to this years’ flooding.
Nearly $11m of work has already started.
At the other end of the country, community leaders were appealing to the Government to come to the rescue this week, and help fix deteriorating infrastructure in the north of the country.
The Far North District Council is assessing the extent of the deficit in its infrastructure budget to fix severely storm-damaged roads and neglected sewerage system.

Wellington endured some stormy conditions on Friday, as a hail storm, accompanied by some thunder and lightning hit the capital just after 2pm.
One of the city’s iconic landmarks, the Zephyrometer in Kilbirne, was hit by a bolt of lightning, and was cordoned off by the council for repairs.
Check out some amazing footage of the storm, here.

Finally, check out Philip Duncan’s latest weather video for the weekend here, and also take a look at an opinion piece we ran during the week, from climate expert Alan Weisman – about the earth’s ‘gas problem’. Fascinating stuff, no matter on which side of the climate debate you sit.

– Drew Chappell,

– Picture: Zoe Tester


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