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.

Story behind polar outbreak of August 2011

August 2011's polar outbreak was a major weather event that drew media interest from around the world.

This event was notable in recent history, in terms of the coldness of the air and extent of its spread across New Zealand.  During the week of the 'big chill', MetService's Chief Forecaster kept up an in-depth explanation of the polar outbreak as it happened.

Behind every forecast is a lot of work.

The Big Chill

2:30pm Sunday 14 August 2011

It's early days in a weather event which is likely to be memorable for its coldness. Below is a satellite image for midday Sunday. The wind flow over New Zealand is generally from the southwest; the coldest showery air has made its way onto Fiordland, Southland, Otago and south Canterbury. It's not raining or snowing over all of southern New Zealand because the wind flow is more or less lined up with the South Island, thereby sheltering some places, and because the precipitation is showery.

A Winter Storm

Since Wednesday 6 July, stormy westerly conditions have affected New Zealand. In this blog, we'll look at why.

The "Long Waves"

Below is the mean sea level analysis - the weather map - for 6am Sunday 10 July. In between big highs over the mid South Pacific and south of western Australia is a really large trough; it's the area shaded light blue. The weather map has looked like this, more or less, since Wednesday 6 July: that is, the big features on it aren't moving much.

Volcanic ash cloud in the New Zealand area

Introduction

The Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), operated by MetService on behalf of the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority, is one of nine VAACs that operate under the International Airways Volcano Watch. Wellington VAAC is supported through the collaborative effort of MetService, GNS, Airways New Zealand and aircraft operators. For more information about the overall system, see Bob McDavitt's blog of 21 April 2010.

John de Lisle in memoriam

It is with sadness that we note the death on Sunday 29 May of John de Lisle, former Director of the New Zealand Meteorological Service.

John was one of a generation that became involved with weather forecasting during the Second World War. After leaving Auckland University College in 1937 he went teaching, and then was commissioned in the Meteorological Branch of the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1942. He served in the Pacific Islands, where forecasters often flew with aircrews as observer/gunners, and occasionally took part in combat.