Friday, June 25, 2010

Lovely weather for the weekend... Not!

The MetService is forcasting more bad weather for the weekend, with a Severe Weather Watch for rain & southerly gales for Saturday, covering much of the lower North Island. Blech! I need to mow my lawns at some point, and this weather isn't helping!


A large low pressure system is expected to remain slow moving across the upper North Island today, then move over the lower North Island on Saturday and deepen. The low is forecast to bring a period of heavy rain to northern and eastern areas from Auckland to Marlborough during today and Saturday, and a Heavy Rain Warning is in force with respect to this.

There is also the potential on Saturday for a period of significant heavy rain in areas of the lower North Island not included in the warning, specifically the southwest of the North Island from Taranaki across to the central high country and down to Wellington. There is uncertainty about which areas will receive the heaviest rain and whether it will reach warning amounts.

For Wellington and also Marlborough from the Kaikoura Coast to the Sounds, there is also the risk that southerly gales on Saturday may reach severe gale for a time in exposed places.

People are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts in case any of the areas in the watch need to be included in the warning.

This Watch will be reviewed by 9pm Friday 25 June 2010
Forecast prepared by: Gerard Barrow

EDIT: The watch has been upgraded to a warning for the eastern hills of Wellington - with 50-90mm falling through to Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wind on the way

The MetService has issued a Severe Weather Watch for northwest gales for Wellington and Wairarapa later today - late afternoon & early evening. I think I might just stay inside & play boardgames.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lessons from Chile

The latest issue of "Impact" has been published by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, and it has some good articles in it - especially one on the lessons which can be learned from the impact of the 8.8 quake that struck Chile on 27 Feb, and caused tsunami warnings all around the Pacific. Building codes, infrastructure redundancies & public education and preparedness really do make a difference.

There's also plug for the Wellington Region's new step-by-step preparedness guide - "It's Easy - Get prepared for an emergency", which you can download here (670kb). The others in the public education team and I are pretty chuffed with how it's turned out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This could come in handy

NASA researchers have been using GPS to predict tsunami activity. Apparently it successfully predicted the size of the tsunami triggered by the Chile quake, so in future it could help improve warnings and reduce the risk of false alarms.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Apparently there was a mangnitude 5.3 earthquake 160km northwest of Wellington at about 2.20am on Saturday morning. Perhaps some of you party animals were awake to feel it? I know I certainly wasn't!

And this morning... crikey, it was cold! MetService reckons it's the coldest morning of the year so far. My car door was frozen shut! I spent about 10 minutes scraping the ice off the windscreen, mirrors & windows so that I could see enough to drive safely, 5 minutes trying to get the door open, and then another 10 minutes trying to defrost my fingers again.

There was an awful lot of black ice on the roads - the motorway, Haywards Hill etc - so I want you lot to take extra care when driving on mornings like this one. I don't want to hear yet another nose-to-tail motor vehicle accident in Porirua come over the radio.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What did I miss?

Back on deck after the long weekend, what did I miss?

Ooh, a Severe Weather Watch for gales yesterday, and heavy rain for the Tararuas and Kapiti. And a magnitude 3.7 earthquake 10km east of Waikanae. Did you all survive all right?

I seem to have lost another chunk of riverbank by my place along the Porirua Stream, along with a tree. Lost about a metre off my front section during the flooding a couple of weeks ago, and the rain over the weekend has caused the already sodden ground to slip further, taking a tree with it.

Paekakariki Hill Road is currently closed due to a slip that covered both lanes, approximately 2km north of Battle Hill.

And I see some people were forced to evacuate their homes in Strathmore when a bit of their hillside gave way -

At least the weather on Saturday was nice...

Friday, June 4, 2010

That's impressive!

Just looking at some rainfall statistics from Tuesday 25 May. They illustrate quite nicely how narrow the band of rain was that caused all the problems.

Whenua Tapu - 49mm
Camborne - 28.6m
Mana - 34mm
Battle Hill - 43.5mm
Whitby - 42mm
Titahi Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant - 144.5mm
Tawa Pool - 118.6mm
Tawa - 80mm
Seton Nossiter Park - 87mm
Churton Park - 89.1mm

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

And the rain continues...

Rain contiues to play havoc throughout the country, especially Auckland, Coromandel & Bay of Plenty, with Whakatane opening up a welfare centre for 75 evacuated residents. 90mm of rain fell in one hour in Whakatane!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I knew it was big, but...

Wow, I hadn't realised just how big that oil spill off the Gulf Coast in the States was, until Stuff posted this image of the oil spill transposed over New Zealand.