Well there was really only one story dominating the headlines this week – the severe gales which hit much of the South Island, wreaking havoc throughout Canterbury in particular.
Weatherwatch called the gales very early, and warned landowners to prepare for some gale force northwesterlies – but no-one picked the record breaking 250km/h hour winds which buffeted Mount Hutt on Tuesday night, heading into Wednesday morning.
Trees, powerlines, roofs, cars, sheds – nothing was exempt from the storm’s fury as it tore through the region, with downed electrical lines starting several fires.
The storm cut power to nearly 30 thousand homes initially, but that figure was quickly reduced and estimates were that only around 7000 were affected by power outages at the time of writing (Friday afternoon).
Relief work quickly became the focus, as volunteers sought equipment and manpower to assist those who needed it – in particular, farmers approaching the busiest time of the year.
The storm moved north, causing problems in the lower North Island before losing most of its puff, eventually fizzling out overnight Thursday.
In other news, the world’s largest volcano was discovered about a thousand miles east of Japan – and if you’re wondering how something the size of US State New Mexico could go undiscovered for so long? It’s 6,500 feet underwater.
And finally, farmers in the North Island in particular are still feeling the effects of last Summers’ drought, with both lamb and calf numbers well down this year, compared to last, and despite great growing conditions through winter.
Let us know what you thought of the week, in particular our coverage of the storms this week, in the comments below.
– Picture: NZ Herald
-Drew Chappell for Weatherwatch and CountryTV