A Southerly 'Buster'

On Monday 28th November 2011, a south to southwest change swept its way northwards across Otago and Canterbury during the afternoon.   Temperatures soared to 28°C preceding this change then rapidly plummeted to around 16°C.  This was a good example of what is known in Australasia as a ‘buster'.

Up and away

Up, up and away in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon… So the song goes, but what’s it actually like way up high in the atmosphere? Could we humans live up there if we wanted to, or had to? I recall David Attenborough doing a great documentary in the series “The Living Planet” (“The Sky Above” episode, BBC) where he ascended beneath a very large hot-air balloon, complete with oxygen mask and equipment for sampling for life specimens. It was surprising to discover that small insects could be whisked up there and freeze, before descending again and reviving.

Sun Protection Alert will help protect Kiwis’ skin this summer

This blog post was written by Wayde Beckman from the Health Sponsorship Council (HSC).

New Zealanders have access to an easy-to-use tool that tells them when they need to protect their skin from the sun, with specific reference to which regions of Aotearoa New Zealand they live. Using extensive research as well as audience and media feedback, the HSC has worked with the MetService and NIWA, in consultation with the Cancer Society, to produce a UV radiation public communications tool – called the Sun Protection Alert to replace the UV Index.

Rugby Weather: Fog

Rugby and fog do not go well together. Fortunately, in the days when rugby was played in the afternoon, they did not meet up much, except for the occasional test in Scotland when the All Blacks disappeared into the “gloom” as they scampered in a late try.

However, the introduction of night-time rugby gave fog a chance to get on the field for some game time. Especially in the United Kingdom, where evening games sometimes have to be cancelled when fog turns up.

Rugby Weather: Snow and the Lions

The first test between the All Blacks and the Lions in 1930 was played at Dunedin’s Carisbrook Park just after a snowstorm. Rain started in the morning then turned to snow during the curtain raiser. It became almost impossible to make out the players and some of the crowd went home while others sheltered under blankets and umbrellas.

Rugby Weather: French Storm 1961

In August 1961 my Dad took me to see my first test match. All Blacks versus France at Wellington’s Athletic Park, although with hindsight it was more like New Zealand and France combined versus the weather.

Not that wind and rain were a negative for my ten-year-old self. That seemed to be one of the great things about rugby: it was so important that you were allowed to play in the rain. There was even some thought that the muddier you got the better you had played, the more heroic your effort.