More than enough

23/12/2011

On the Farming Show yesterday Bob McDavitt went through a list of weather nasties which had hit New Zealand in the past 12 months.

He started with Tropical Cyclone Norma in January which resulted in insurance payouts of $20 million in insurance payouts.

Most of us not affected by that would have forgotten about it after it was overshadowed in February by the Christchurch earthquake.

That and the physical, financial and emotional aftershocks which followed have dominated the year and just as everyone was beginning to relax there’s been another sizable shock:

Information about this earthquake:

Reference Number 3631359 [View event in Google Maps][View Felt Reports in Google Maps]
Universal Time December 23 2011 at 0:58
NZ Daylight Time Friday, December 23 2011 at 1:58 pm
Latitude, Longitude 43.49°S, 172.90°E
Focal Depth 8 km
Richter magnitude 5.8
Region Canterbury
Location
  • 20 km north-east of Lyttelton
  • 20 km north-east of Diamond Harbour
  • 20 km east of Christchurch

We’re more than 200 kilometres south of there and we felt the shake and a reasonable aftershock.

RadioNZ National says there has been only one report of anyone injured, and we can be grateful for that but there is more liquification.

If we’re thinking there’s been more than enough from Mother Nature, particularly when it comes to shaking, this year, how much worse it must be for the people in Christchurch.


Shortest day longest night

21/06/2009

Today’s the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night.

The Carter Observatory says:

The Winter Solstice is on June 21 at 18:46 (6:46pm); this is when the Sun is at its most Northerly point in the sky. At the middle of the day on June 21, it reaches its lowest altitude, from the Northern horizon, for the year.

Brian Carter, Senior Astronomer at the Carter Observatory says, “This means that the longest night is June 21/22 and the shortest day is June 21”.

Jamie McKay discussed this on the Farming Show with Met Service weather ambassador Bob McDavitt on Friday.

He said that in there will be 9 hours 31 minutes of daylight in Auckland and in Dunedin just 8 hours 26 minutes.

The solstice doesn’t mean the coldest weather is over. Just as the warmest weather is usually in January and February after the summer solstice, the coldest days of winter are usually in July, after the winter one.

Memories from school geography tell me the lag in warming and cooling has something to do with being an island nation.

Water heats up and slows down more slowly than land so being surrounded by sea has a tempering affect on temperatures.

But that’s a very rusty memory and affirmations or corrections are welcomed.

We were at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland on June 21 in 1982 when the temperature wasn’t much warmer than we’d have expected in New Zealand.

Four years ago we were in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain, in June. Temperatures were much higher and children celebrated the summer solstice by making Juans and Juanas, which were paraded round the town then, like guys, burnt on a giant fire.

espana 110


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