Saturday 28 November 2015

Weather conditions in New Zealand

The following, via Facebook from a friend in North Canterbury expresses the reality of the el-Nino while the media is full of half-truths and absent any context.

Our hay is stuffed - dried up and gone to seed. Parts of paddocks where growth was poor have been fried - grass has turned to dust. It doesn't bode well for the rest of the summer. Hoping to get a bit of moisture tomorrow to ease the stress on the grass so we can get what's left cut - but it will be poor.....

Last year we got half in by end November, rest end of December. Usually mid - late December. Never been this parched this early - people who've farmed here for generations saying it's as bad as they've seen.”
Summer has not even started yet and we are getting conditions like the ones expressed above.

It appears to be a story of two countries where the North is getting too much growth and too much rain while the east of the South Island is parched.

The short regional wrap-up on Radio New Zealand's

Country Life is the only place where there is any accurate reporting. Note the comments at the end.

Fire crews battling a large blaze in Marlborough hope it will be completely contained by the end of the day.

A large forest fire burning in the Waikakaho Valley near Blenheim on 25 November 2015.

The fire in the Waikakaho valley ripped through about 400 hectares of pine forest over the last four days.

Fire Service incident controller Rob Hands said a bit of moisture overnight helped the fire to die down slightly.

"We've had 100km winds for the last three days and it hasn't breached our lines to date, so the fire has stayed where it is.

Severe weather warnings for South Island

Police are urging drivers to take care, with severe weather warnings in place for several parts of the South Island.

25 Novermber,2015

woman with umbrella blown inside outPhoto: 123RF

Heavy rain is anticipated for the West Coast, with as much as 240mm of rain expected between now and Friday evening.

Thunderstorms on Friday morning might bring up to 35mm of rain per hour.

Southland, Fiordland, Otago and Canterbury, meanwhile, can expect blustering northwest gales on Friday, up to 160km/h in exposed inland place.

Marlborough, where a large forest fire has been burning since yesterday near Blenheim, is also expecting gusts of 130km/h - and possibly 160km/h in some areas - tomorrow.

The run-on effects of the rain and gales have the potential to be significant: surface flooding from rising river and stream levels is possible, as are falling trees, powerlines and damaged irrigation systems.

A police spokesperson said road users in Southland needed to be aware of the potential for heavy rain and gusts, which would mostly affect those on motorcycles and those in high-sided vehicles.

There was an expected increase in people on roads around the region with the Burt Munro Challenge beginning today, the spokesperson said.

The challenge, with various events around Invercargill, was created by the Southland Motorcycle Club to honour Munro, who set land speed records in the 1960s.

Wild winds are also expected in Wellington and southern Wairarapa in the North Island, with severe northwest gales rising to 130km/h in exposed places on Friday.

Hundreds of passengers have had their travel plans ruined by strong wind gusts which have forced the cancellation of nearly 20 flights into and out of Wellington.

It has sparked a severe weather warning, with severe northwest gales expected to hit Canterbury, Marlborough, Wellington and Wairarapa.

The severe gales - which could see gusts of up to 150km/h - were expected to ease from the south as the front moved northwards. Winds in excess of 130km/h were recorded in Wellington this morning.

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