Sunday, August 14, 2011

Winter storm

If I mention a winter storm in connection with Auckland, chances are good that it’s more or less just a storm that happens in winter. Sometimes it might have a bit more rain, or be a bit cooler, but otherwise, not very different.

This time, it is a bit different.

There’s an Antarctic chill sweeping up the country, bringing snow as far north as Wellington (at least), which is unusual. Snow on the Central Plateau isn’t unusual, and when that happens—as now—it often makes Auckland colder than usual.

And it is colder in Auckland than usual: The reported temperature in Auckland a little while ago was around 10 (50 in US Fahrenheit degrees). It’s actually colder at our house, of course, and it will get colder still, maybe colder than the cold snap last month. We’ll see.

Actual snow is unlikely in Auckland—it’s happened only rarely, and the last time was a very long time ago. However, snow showers are predicted down to as low as 200 metres (above sea level), so it’s possible the Waitakere Ranges in West Auckland could see it, as could some other ranges in the area. Closer to sea level, sleet and possible hail will be it. For me, as a native of Northern Illinois, such weather in winter is common enough, but at least we usually got the “winter wonderland” to reward us for enduring the rest.

Actually, earlier this evening, my Northern Illinois-raised ears thought the winds outside sounded like those of the common winter storms I grew up with. Except with moonlight, stars—and no snow. So, I guess, not really.

This evening, plenty of Kiwis have been Tweeting about their weather, some posting photos of the unusual snow. I don’t expect to get the chance to do the same. It’s just a winter storm, after all.

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