Well, apparently someone at the MetService read my last post, because about an hour and a half later I got a call from MetService weather ambassador Bob McDavitt. (Hi Bob!)
The wind that day had obviously committed a terrible diplomatic faux pas by not checking in with the embassy prior to arriving in Wellington.
I may grumble occassionally when my inbox fills up, and my phone doesn't stop beeping with weather warnings, and post terribly impolite blog titles when one little thing gets missed, but the MetService really does supply us with stunningly good service.
The weather warnings that we receive are immensly valuable to us, since weather is actually one of the events we can get advance notice of - forewarned is forearmed, as they say. There's been at least one occassion where one of the folks at the forecasting desk thought we needed a warning so much that they took the time to ring my cellphone and warn Porirua directly, rather than just relying on the mailing list. Great stuff! That's why the lack of a warning for this event was a bit of a shock.
But, as another example of the fine service that MetService provides, Mr McDavitt has provided me with some information on what happened on Thursday. So with the kind permission of the MetService, here's a graph of wind gusts in the area that day, and some explanatory information
Wind GUSTS in knots as recorded around the Wellington area during a brief localised damaging wind event on Thursday 7 January 2010.
Time stamp is in UTC as DD HH:MM (Coordinated Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time)
At KKW, Mt Kaukau, gusts were over 60 knots (111km/hr) lasting from 07 0200UTC to around 07 1430UTC, that's 3pm Thursday to 3:30am Friday local time.
At KLX, Kelburn, gusts were over 60 knots from 07 0700UTC to 07 1200UTC, that's 8pm Thursday to 1am Friday local time - duration 5 hours.
No other stations measured any gusts over 60 knots.
Decode for other stations (alphabetically by station code):
BRX = Brothers lighthouse in Cook Strait,
CSW= Centre Point at Seaview
HJX = Johnsonville
MNX= Mana Island
RIX = Rimutuka summit
WNA= Wellington Airport
Data copyright remains with MetService 2010.
Winds in this event where formed by a squeezing of the pressure gradient ahead of an incoming front and managed to affect the Johnsonville to Kelburn ridge area more than in normal pre-frontal events.
MetService is classing this as a MISSED EVENT for severe wind.
Bob McDavitt, MetService Weather Ambassador 8 Jan 2010.
Thankyou Mr Ambassador! I'll be sure to contact you again the next time some nasty weather arrives without having filed its paperwork with the embassy.
We love you, MetService! xxx