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It’s been another year of wild weather across New Zealand with snow falling in centres that don’t normally see it, dramatic hail storms, tornadoes and waterspouts near main centres, says WeatherWatch.co.nz
The weather news website has had successful year with well over half a million visits and nearly 1.3 million page views across 2009. Despite the downturn in economy, which has slowed development of the site, some sections have seen 300% growth compared to this time last year.
Breaking weather news is still the main feature of the site with the following weather events making it in to the top three news stories of 2009:
The biggest single news event was a story broken by WeatherWatch.co.nz on May 11 as a deluge of hail turned Mt Maunganui into a winter wonderland. The dramatic hail storm turned streets white while out at sea a dramatic waterspout hugged the Papamoa coastline. (see full article and photos here)
2009’s second biggest news story was a sub-tropical storm on February 27th to March 1st that brought flooding and damage to a number of regions across the North Island. People were prepared to wait all night long for Lionel Richie but there was no dancing on the ceiling, or anywhere else, when his performance at the Mission Estate Winery in Hawke’s Bay was cancelled two hours before showtime. The cancellation angered fans who had sat in the rain for several hours. The Coromandel Peninsula was worst hit with almost 200mm of rain in some areas. Wind and rain damage was reported right across the North Island.
Coming in at third place was another sub-tropical storm this time starting on June 11th. While Auckland was spared at the last minute it walloped Northland and Coromandel. Gusts of 180km/h were recorded out on the Hauraki Gulf . 18,000 were without power at one stage across Northland and Coromandel. The gales brushed northern Auckland and Waiheke Island where trees were uprooted and some roofs ripped off.
Other weather events that captured the headlines this year were 40 degree temperatures recorded in Christrchurch in early January, a dramatic electrical storm east of Auckland in mid January and snow to low levels in Dunedin, Wellington, Masterton and Napier.
WeatherWatch.co.nz’s Live Santa Tracker also attracted a flurry of visitors to the site – with the Tracker page viewed over 17,000 times in just 24 hours on Christms Eve and over 300 messages to Santa posted.
The most popular pages for 2009 at WeatherWatch.co.nz were:
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