Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wintry blast

The shortest day of the year is upon us in the Southern Hemisphere. Auckland will have only 9 hours 38 minutes of daylight, but Invercargill—the world’s southernmost city—will receive only 8 hours 35 minutes of daylight.

Many people consider this the start of winter, but these days that’s generally considered to be June 1. As it happens, we’re about to get a wintry blast, courtesy of a storm system that recently lashed Australia’s New South Wales coast. The
South Island will get the worst of it:

A cold and squally southwesterly wind flow from the polar ice-shelf is expected to shift on to the South Island today, bringing snow to mountains.

Here in generally milder
Auckland, we’ve been told that later today we’ll have winds blasting us at 90 kph (roughly 56 mph), pushing already lower temperatures even lower. The wind chill is expected to be below freezing. Nice. The air temperature will be warmer than that, of course, but the heavy rain that’s also expected will probably make it feel cold and damp.

The worst weather is expected to hit
Auckland tomorrow and Saturday. As luck would have it, those two days are also when we’re having the new heating/cooling system installed, so I’m hoping that we don’t have to disconnect the old system until they’re done. As luck would further have it, we’re waiting for a delivery of new gas bottles, since we’re about to run out of gas (it’s supposed to be delivered today).

Will be we be without heat tomorrow night? Will the weather be as bad as expected? Will
South Island farmers get snowed in for two weeks again, like last year? And, what about Naomi? (that last one is an obscure American cultural reference; extra points to anyone who can tell me the source).

Send warm thoughts!

Update: The installation has been postponed (as they so often are) to Tuesday, so we'll definitely have heat.

Update 2 (23 June 2007): Well, if this is a wintry blast, I can cope. There was a little wind, but the temperatures were generally pretty mild in Auckland. We did, however, get more rain than usual. However, Otago in the South Island got hit hard; apparently they got the entire country's share of the winter weather. At any rate, Jason wins the extra points for getting the obscure cultural reference.


lost in france said...

Hmmm. Didn't get the Naomi reference (does this mean I have to give back my American passport?). I do know that the temperatures that you describe are not nearly as low as Chicago's or other locales in the North of the US during winter.

Anonymous said...

You have to look on the bright side. Per Weather Underground tomorrow you will have 3 more seconds of daylight. How do you plan spending it? ;)

The short days always get me down and I play close attention to the lengthening of the day.

Arthur Schenck said...

LiF: I did say the reference was obscure. I'll wait to answer until a friend of mine has a chance to comment. But in any case, you get to keep your passport--this time! :-)

Winter here definitely isn't as bad as winter in Chicago. This is definitely a good thing!

Larken: I can certainly use that extra three seconds! Funny you should mention paying attention to the lengthening of the day. I was just remembering how when I was in Chicago I used to watch the TV weather and always noticed the time of the sunset gaining minutes as winter slowly faded. It somehow made winter a tiny bit more bearable watching Spring slowly creeping in. Now, though, I don't notice it at all until the shortest day when I almost always think to myself, "Gee it's getting dark early..."

Jason in DC said...

Tune in tomorrow for more of As the Stomach Turns.

Is that the reference you might be referring to?

Jason in DC said...

Opps I'm sorry. I should have said:

For the answer to these and other questions tune in tomorrow for another episode of As the Stomach Turns.

Arthur Schenck said...

I knew I could count on you, Jason!

Yes, that's the complete quote and for the benefit of those who didn't spend their Saturday evenings watching the source, it's from a repeating sketch called "As The Stomach Turns", a spoof of American soap operas on The Carol Burnett Show (1967-1978). At the end of each episode, the announcer would ask a series of questions about the characters, ending with "And what about Naomi? For the answer to these and other questions tune in tomorrow for another episode of As the Stomach Turns." You can read more about the show here.

lost in france said...

Hmmm. The only thing I remember about that show was a strapping man who continually found himself in situations where he had to take his short off -- Lyle or something was his name ;-)