Contrail over Tauranga

I received an inquiry by way of the Editor of the Bay of Plenty Times from Laurie Sanders of Tauranga with some photographs of an interesting cloud formation. Laurie saw it as he was going to work southeast-bound on 15th Avenue at the Cameron Street traffic lights at 7:40 am on Wednesday, 9 December 2009. He took several photos, and I have reproduced two of them here with his permission.

Holiday fun

Schools are breaking up for the holidays, and if you're a parent or caregiver you may be wondering how you're going to get through the next several weeks. :-) How about setting your child(ren) a challenge - to keep a weather log for a continuous 14-day period. Depending on their age and sophistication, you could make the log shorter or longer, and easier or harder.

Here are some suggestions...

Jean Batten

I recently passed through Auckland International Airport, and paid special attention to the various displays about Jean Batten. You may have seen her Percival Gull aircraft beautifully on display high up in the international terminal heading, as below. There is also a statue of her just outside the international terminal building.

A few reflections on winter

In New Zealand, most people would not consider May and October to be winter months. This year, however, they were noticeably colder than usual. NIWA remarked upon this in their Climate Summaries for May and October 2009. To quote very selectively from these summaries:

Thank you for your feedback

Wow, in less than 24 hours we have received over 400 emails! Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback on the new look website .

Based on your comments we are addressing the following issues:

Ice

You may have heard in the news recently about a large group of  icebergs in the ocean south of New Zealand. There is an impressive photo of one of the icebergs here.

MetService launches preview of new website

MetService has released the new version of metservice.com for preliminary viewing. You can interact with the new site to compare it with the current site, which is still live.


How the Sun moves across the sky

As we approach summer in NZ, the Sun gets higher in the sky and increasingly warms the Earth and the air around us. In the early 1600s Galileo Galilei explained that the Earth goes around the Sun, but there's no reason why we can't discuss the apparent movement of the Sun across the sky, as you see it from a frame of reference fixed to the Earth. Let's do that, and investigate the different ways that the Sun drives our seasons.