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

We’ve seen floods, thunder, hail, snow and gales this week – just in time for things to settle down into the weekend…before next week brings another bout of unsettled weather.

We started the week with our regional drought outlook for Canterbury, following a month where the region received below average rainfall yet again this year – meaning parts of the Canterbury region now kick off winter below average rainwise for many farmers – due to prevailing trends in our recent weather.
Generally speaking, and following a spell of decent rain in parts of Cnaterbury this week, we expect overall the region to be slightly drier than average this month.
Check out our full regional forecast for Canterbury’s drought areas, here.

With the focus very much on weather at home this week, it may have slipped most people’s notice that some regions of Australia have experienced a record breaking start to winter – with Sydney and Adelaide both breaking low temperature records for the first time since the mid 80s.
Canberra also had its coldest morning for the year so far this week, falling eight below average to minus seven degrees, with severe frost.

Auckland and Dunedin were the two centres at either end of the country with everyone’s attention this week – after first of all a dramatic thunderstorm rumbling across Auckland late Tuesday afternoon and into the early evening.
Lightning and thunder went on nonstop since about 4:30pm to 6:30pm – as the cells tracked southwards.
Check out some of the best images and posts from our readers, here!

Then on Wednesday, Auckland was in the headlines again – with another light show in the sky, along with some heavy rain to go along with it.
Showers in the Tasman Sea spent the afternoon on Wednesday getting better organised, and an incredibly slow moving front headed into the Auckland Region and City from the west.
Check out some more of our readers’ contributions in photo and post form, here.

However, the real story on Wednesday was at the other end of the country, in Dunedin – where torrential rain, flooding and thunderstorms wrought havoc in the city and prompted a Civil Defence emergency.
Emergency services worked together out of the civil defence bunker in central Dunedin to coordinate their response to multiple flooding events across the city, after foul sewer contamination forced the closure of roads in some suburbs.
Check out what people were saying on social media about the rain, here.

After the storm had passed, the city was faced with a cleanup of epic proportions – and, for one man at least – the prospect of never returning home.
Roads were closed and sandbags rolled out to protect homes and businesses the morning after the rains, with parts of Kaikorai Valley and Forbury, and other section of South Dunedin particularly badly affected.
Parts of Mosgiel, the Brighton Coast and Taieri Plain were also badly hit, and a number of roads were closed for several days.

Marty Duffy, who lives up a drive-way at the end of Allen St in Northeast Valley, his cat Honky and his dog Belle were evacuated by police about 4pm on Wednesday after there was a major slip in front of his house about an hour earlier.
He was in the house when the slip opened up a ”canyon” in his section and left his kitchen hanging in mid-air.
Check out his story, here.

On a slightly lighter note, we ran a video from Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart this week, where he takes the mickey out of media coverage of pollen levels during the northern hemisphere springtime.
In this (very satirical) video, he asks the question: why is every year a record breaker? When does the sensationalism become misleading?
Highly interesting and also a good laugh – check it out!

As a part of our “big picture” series, where we attempt to illustrate weather patterns through a new graphics format, we ran a story about the first half of this month – why we’re seeing a westerly windflow prevailing through the early part of the month, and what that means for those of us on both sides of the country.

Fieldays is back for 2015, kicking off at Mystery Creek just south of Hamilton next Wednesday – and we ran an early forecast for the event – where it’s looking as though winds will continue from the westerly quarter, and conditions looking good overall.

We also launched a new feature for the website this week – a showcase of a well known or hard working person each week, who over the years have shown support towards – and people who embrace the weather and climate.
Our first interview is with TV3’s Ingrid Hipkiss – Weather Presenter for 3 News – and her interview can be found here.

And finally, check out our weekend weather video for the specifics heading into the break and then the week ahead – and if this week has been a bit of a surprise with conditions both in our largest city, we encourage everyone there to download the free Auckland Civil Defence app, here.

– Drew Chappell,


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