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

Another crazy week – that’s seen the start of a new year! All eyes were on the forecast for New Years Eve this week, and it turned out to be a bit of a damp squib, all things considered…

Abroad, however, there were rather more concerning weathre developments – with the search for the missing Air Asia flight 8501 continuing – and speculation on how weather was involved in its disappearance.
Check out the video, here.
After three days of intense searching, Indonesian officials found debris from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 in the waters off the island of Borneo.
A search team on a plane spotted the shadow of an object that looked like a plane in the water, and further searching discovered floating objects believed to be the bodies of passengers, and then what appeared to be an emergency exit of the plane.

Meanwhile, in Europe on Monday, massively damaging snowstorms caused huge problems across the EU – particularly Britain, France and Germany.
Britain faced power cuts, while heavy snow in the French Alps left 15,000 drivers stranded, prompting officials to open emergency shelters and urge travellers to stay at home.
Snow also covered parts of Switzerland and southwestern Germany, and more than 20cm of snow fell in higher parts of Germany’s Black Forest.
Snow and ice led to a roughly 20km traffic jam on the A8 highway near Stuttgart in southern Germany.

In southeast Asia this week there was more bad news – as record breaking rainfalls forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate in Malaysia and Thailand, as flooding threatened communities all around the two countries.
Sri Lanka was also hit hard by the rains, with more than twice the average monthly rainfall coming in just 8 days to finish the year.

In the USA, more than 130 motorists had to be rescued near Los Angeles on Tuesday, after heavy snow forced roads to close and trapped those sitting on them.
They had gotten stuck near the town of Crestline, when a wreck blocked the road, and snow piled in on top of them, San Bernardino County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig said. Some of them pulled out their phones and called for help.

Closer to home, and Australia has had its first look at 2015’s weather forecasts too – and it’s looking like a wet start to the year across the Tasman.
The biggest change from December to January will be the arrival of the first burst of the monsoon in the Australian tropics, with its affects felt nation-wide.
The arrival of the monsoon is not all good though, bringing with it a heightened risk of tropical cyclone development.

In slightly shorter term news, a waterspout was spotted off the coast of Darwin in Australia, after some wild weather caused perfect conditions for the rare phenomenon.
Bob Gosford, who writes the Northern Myth blog for news website Crikey, said he saw the waterspout near the Darwin Ski Club on December 22.
“I was just cruising around one morning and I saw it was up, so snapped off a couple of photos,” he said.

And the Coromandel has won the annual Herald holiday destination survey, meaning more kiwis prefer the east coast of the North Island to anywhere else for their vacation time.
Check out that full story, here.

– Drew Chappell, 


Guest on 2/01/2015 9:59pm

 . . . and there is a drought developing in South Canterbury (New Zealand).

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