Kiwis flummoxed by significant snow

Climate Poetic justice in the land of ETS. From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Freak snowfall has NZ reeling

WELLINGTON: New Zealand is shivering through a one-in-50-year polar blast that has brought snow to much of the country, the weather service says.

A bitterly cold southerly blast has caused snow to fall in areas of New Zealand which do not usually receive it, making roads impassable in many areas on both islands, closing airports and cutting power to thousands.

Staff at Wellington Zoo took advantage of the first major snowfall in the capital for 40 years to give the visiting penguin ”Happy Feet” a dip in an icy saltwater pool.

The MetService head forecaster, Peter Kreft, said the polar blast was ”of the order of a 50-year” event and warned it could last for days. The level of snow that had fallen in Wellington had not been seen since at least the 1970s, he said.

In Wanganui in the North Island, snow had settled for the first time since 1974, Constable Simon Beswarick said.

The MetService has forecast the heavy snow to continue today before easing tomorrow. It is unlikely to continue down to sea level.

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93 thoughts on “Kiwis flummoxed by significant snow

  1. So what? When it snows, that’s due to climate change too. Or are you a climacaust denier?

  2. See! ETS works – told ya so! Kiwis lead the way in cooling the planet. Go Kiwi!
    (Just make sure you bag all that snow, we don’t want it melting and running into the sea and raising the sea level.)

  3. WeatherWatch’s Philip Duncan: 
    “Well we had a similar snow storm in the 1930s so probably not just global warming – but actually global warming means MORE snow storms, not less”.

  4. How long before some dupe from their Met Office explains that the snowfall and cold snap is a predicted consequence of global warming?

  5. Nothing rivals the great snowstorm of 1939 according to Erick Brenstrum writing on the MetService blog.
    Snow was reported by the lighthouse keeper at Cape Maria van Diemen at the top of the North Island.
    In Auckland, snow fell in many suburbs just before dawn on 27 July. Five cm of snow lay on the summit of Mt Eden, while the Bombay hills shone white for most of the morning.
    It snowed in Gisborne and
    snow lay 15 cm deep in Masterton, where the town clock was stopped at 2.20am by the weight of snow on its hands.
    The Paremata harbour had eight hectares of ice.
    Further south the snow was heavier.
    Snow cut off Banks Peninsula from Christchurch for a time, and lay 30 cm deep in Akaroa.
    Staff at the radio masts at Highcliffs, on the Otago Peninsula, were completely cut off and starving. A rescue mission was launched by one of Shackleton’s former team, using Shackleton’s sled, borrowed from the Otago Museum.
    Rival Dunedin businesses had snowballing contests.
    http://brightwings.typepad.com/bright_wings/2009/11/the-worst-snowstorm-in-new-zealand-history.html

  6. A 50 year NZ cold cycle has nothing to do with the Green Hysterical concept of “Climate Disruption” although no doubt they will be claiming this cold spell and the USA warm one are as a result of our 4% contribution to this planet’s atmospheric CO2 content.

  7. In a reply on another thread I said that this storm was unlikely to be any more than a 1 in 5 yr event. I may have to eat a bit of cold himble pie. Where we farm at about 300 metres above sea level in the central South Island it is still only about a 1 in 5 yr event. It is obvoiusly not for much of the country.
    It is rather ironic that this country, which is the only one that I know of which has an ETS because of concerns about global warming, is currently the coldest country on the planet.

  8. From a NZ newspaper instead of an Australian one:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10745421
    “A weather historian says the polar blast has been a ‘once in a life time’ event.
    Erick Brenstrom told Newstalk ZB the recent snow falls are similar to the massive storm of 1939, but temperatures were “a wee bit colder and the sheer quantity of snow was a lot worse” in the 1930’s event.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10742385
    Govt sends ETS report back for updating
    The annual Australia New Zealand climate change and business conference has unfortunately just finshed, before it started snowing in places never seen in NZ in a lifetime.
    ‘Climate Change Minister Nick Smith, speaking to the annual Australia New Zealand climate change and business conference in Wellington yesterday, said that in deciding how fast the ETS progressed, the Government would be mindful of what New Zealand’s trading partners did, particularly Australia, the impact on households, and the international competitiveness of trade-exposed industries, including agriculture.
    “I expect to be able to announce the outcome of the review and the future direction of the scheme next month,” he said.’
    Nick Smith knows full well that AGS is a rort, but his government just likes the extra taxes they have put on electric power and fuel, with increases to come.

  9. “SteveE says:
    August 16, 2011 at 1:21 am”
    Even in winter, snow fall to sea level IS unusual for Wellington. Usually never falls below 500m, and even at 1500, the summit of the Rimutaka Hill Road for instance, was rarely closed to snow, wind certainly.

  10. Timely and opportune as always Anthony!
    It might help to consider the New Zealand events alongside the NE USA / New York events.
    There are simultaneous solar action driven gigantic shifts going on now in each hemisphere with significant cooling in USA – predicted by our Solar Lunar Action Technique to the day – alongside the supercold blast in New Zealand.
    Readers may recall there were simultaneous major events in both hemispheres both of which we predicted earlier in the year such as blizzards in NE USA and Tropical storm YASI deluging Queensland – http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews11No3.pdf
    Right now THE GREAT FLOODS New York and tremendous BLIZZARDS New Zealand vindicate our WeatherAction Solar-Lunar Theory of weather and climate in terms of the ~58-60yr (approx on average) solar-lunar beat period, both having an increased prevalence of corresponding extreme events around that time ago. See http://t.co/ykcvnWM (Read this for MORE TO COME USA!)
    Thanks
    Piers Corbyn

  11. It’s not necessarily indicative of anything one way or the other.
    In 1989/90 I worked in the European Alps for a ski season. It was one of the wierdest on record.
    After normal snows in November, freak rain up to over 3000m rendered the Alps green over Christmas/New Year. A month of cold sunny weather left the Alps pretty green on February 1st.
    In February/early March, two huge storms hit the Alps. 3.7m fell in France and Italy in the first storm, in Switzerland rain in the middle of the first storm caused landslides. In the second storm 246kph winds were recorded, trees were down and villages cut off. And large amounts of snow fell.
    In April, continuous snowfall to low levels brought a great end to the season.
    Overall, the winter was very mild, but the storms were unusual to say the least.
    Context is required when discussing such things………………

  12. It seems that these one in fifty (one in a hundred year, etc.) weather events are happening a lot recently… Only for cold/wet/bad stuff though, no one would ever dare say that 1998 was a 1 in 70 scorcher.

  13. WeatherWatch’s Philip Duncan:
    “Well we had a similar snow storm in the 1930s so probably not just global warming – but actually global warming means MORE snow storms, not less”.

    There’s been little of this sort of thing spouted as far as I have seen. Basically because for the North Island at least this is exceptionally cold. It would only make a warmer look really stupid to suggest that areas that don’t get snow ever are suddenly getting it because it is warmer.

  14. My first thought was “What snow?” The picture shows a light dusting.
    Second thought: Well, okay. Like all human senses and judgments, it’s all a matter of baseline and delta. If your baseline is zero snow all year, this is pretty impressive.
    Third thought: The countries that are still most excited and most suicidally devoted to the Carbon Cult are countries with mild climates. Aus, UK, NZ, various Pacific islands. Not a lot of seasonal variation. Countries with plenty of seasonal variation, including the US, are losing their enthusiasm.
    In other words: If you’re accustomed to a narrow range, it doesn’t take much deviance to get you excited and panicky.

  15. We’re having a blast us deniers with this snow thing down under…a polar blast .I knew that if we just kept on paying that bit extra for our petrol the results would kick in sooner or later. You see the molecules of CO2 over NZ have been taxed and therefore have been behaving themselves in accordance with AGW. Funny thing though ,the believers here in NZ are getting a little confused about the “global WARMING” and some are so crazy and disoriented that they’re coming up with a new thing called “global WEIRDING”. Global weirding can explain everything …everything, Droughts, floods,tornadoes,snow, you name it. I kid you not. Look it up in wiki. That’s where they get all their science.

  16. I grew up in Rotorua (330m above sea level) in New Zealand during the 60’s and early 70’s. Snow was not unheard of during that period and common on the hills and mountains around the area. The desert road (state highway 1) closed nearly every winter. It is nothing unusual for those with a memory. We spend most August school holidays in Taihape and always expected some snow. Nothing new under the sun

  17. Patrick Davis says:
    August 16, 2011 at 2:45 am
    Yes but it does happen, I’ve seen quotes say “this is the most snow we’ve had in 15 years, 40 years, 50 years, 72 years. etc”
    It’s weather, it happens.
    We had the warmest April on record here in the UK and the driest spring in 20 years and second driest since 1910! Doesn’t prove global warming any more than this disproves it. But I bet several people here will try to say that it does.

  18. as a result of our 4% contribution to this planet’s atmospheric CO2 content.
    Don’t exaggerate Brian :)) it’s 0.04% CO² in atmosphere of which we may contribute 3.27% (1.5 parts / million /année) /sarc off

  19. CANBERRA RALLY UP DATE the rally was a complete sucsess around 5000 deniers where there GROVER the truckie made it walking all the way from ALBURY we have become a united group of australians that have stood up and be counted and we will win to get democracy back into australian .we have to win for our grand kids future in this world

  20. Alan Ogden says:
    August 16, 2011 at 2:15 am
    For UK readers, a familiar face discusses the weather in Wellington
    Now that is interesting. I wonder when and why he left the BBC/UKMetoff ? He came from the USA to the BBC. Don’t know where in the US.

  21. NZ is in the grip of a severe jet stream straight from Antarctica. This seems to be the pattern during winter when the Sun is extra quiet. The amount of low pressure systems around the bottom end is notably different from what we would normally expect.
    A pic of yesterdays jet stream at the end of my my NH winter prediction article…Also some info on the building La Nina
    http://tinyurl.com/2dg9u22/?q=node/224

  22. For peter geany and others . . .
    Snow in Dunedin or Christchurch or the hills around Rotorua is dog bites man.
    Snow in Auckland city or Dargaville (where my rates are collected) is man bites dog.

  23. And, just for the record, I’m 66, was born in Auckland, went to school barefoot in wintertime in the 1950s . . . and this weather is definitely a once-in-my-lifetime event.

  24. No problem the models predicted it , along side rains of fish and any other weather no matter how usual . Its a good way to ensure they can never be wrong .

  25. New Zealand getting snow (first in 39 years was mentioned).
    All 50 US states broke heat records this summer.
    NYC got massive rainfall, equivalent to 9 feet of snow.
    Texas is bone dry.
    Strong straight-line winds blow down that stage at the Indiana State Fair (five killed, dozens injured).
    All presented as evidence-by-inclusion by ABC News (US) in their headliner piece featuring Dr. Heidi Cullen of Climate Central (formerly of The Weather Channel) excitingly saying:
    AH-HA! WE WERE RIGHT! IT’S GLOBAL WARMING! GLOBAL WARMING IS STILL AROUND! WE TOLD YOU SO! GLOBAL WARMING LIVES! IT’S ALIVE! ALIVE, we say, ALIVE!!
    Yup, the piece was highly irritating. A blast of straight-line wind kills people, such winds have caused tornado-like damage and even wrecked airplanes for ages, so now this instance is tossed in with the “freaky weather” showing damage from global warming. (Insert appropriate statement about sons-of-unwed-mothers and/or female dogs with attributions as needed.)

  26. Our good friend Dr. Heidi Cullen was featured on ABC World News Tonight claiming the recent extreme weather, including both this winter storm in New Zealand and this summer’s extreme heat in the USA are caused by global warming (of course). According to Dr. Cullen, heat drives extreme weather events and these storms, heat waves, droughts, blizzards will continue to become more common and more extreme as the world heats up.
    Any physical evidence to support that claim?
    As more my two-cents worth, it seems to me that heat differential drives storms. Extreme weather events should be more extreme and more violent as a result of a cooling world, not a warming one.

  27. Piers Corbyn says:
    August 16, 2011 at 2:57 am
    “There are simultaneous solar action driven gigantic shifts going on now in each hemisphere with significant cooling in USA – predicted by our Solar Lunar Action Technique to the day – alongside the supercold blast in New Zealand.”
    Piers Corbyn, thanks for dropping by. I have been trying to interest the locals on WUWT in the “unprecedented” (Warmista term) cool weather in the middle and upper Midwest of the USA. Yes, it is cool in the East too but I think the MIdwest shows the greater “unprecedentedness” in this case.
    My old hometown of St. Louis MO is enjoying May weather in August. Usually, July and August register a high temperature near 100 daily. The last time I saw this weather was in the run-up to the disastrous winters of 1976-79. My instincts tell me to expect the worst for this winter? Are they right?

  28. Congratulations to New Zealand for such quick success in cooling the atmosphere using ETS! If they continue to pay taxes like that for a few more years, the country may be used for a new collider. Superconducting magnets will be cooled by the environment. 😉

  29. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 16, 2011 at 7:40 am
    “All 50 US states broke heat records this summer.
    Texas is bone dry.
    Strong straight-line winds blow down that stage at the Indiana State Fair (five killed, dozens injured).”
    Great post, Kadaka. I have been caught in those winds more than once, and each time I was jogging in Forest Park in St. Louis. Yeah, some trees were broken. These things happen.
    Did no one expect that the dust bowl would return? These things happen.
    All 50 states? No, way. I was in several of them. Anyway, it is a fictitious statistic, like something from Monday Night Football – “Miami is the only team undefeated in appearances on MNF.” Some place in Florida finally hit 100 on the Fourth of July and so Florida has a new record high – worthless statistic.

  30. Patrick Davis says:
    August 16, 2011 at 8:06 am
    “SteveE says:
    August 16, 2011 at 4:07 am”
    And what has changed in the UK since 1910?
    ————-
    The Governement, transport network, communication network, population, the industry base, teaching methods, technology, the economy, lots of things really… What’s your point.

  31. Thanks very much Theo,
    Those points are important. Maybe get groups of locals interested; our charges are low anyhow but a group could get forecasts with a view to trying them out and subscribing separately later. The more subscribers we get then the lower the possible price in the long run.
    Piers

  32. polistra says:
    August 16, 2011 at 3:30 am

    Third thought: The countries that are still most excited and most suicidally devoted to the Carbon Cult are countries with mild climates. Aus, UK, NZ, various Pacific islands. Not a lot of seasonal variation. Countries with plenty of seasonal variation, including the US, are losing their enthusiasm.
    In other words: If you’re accustomed to a narrow range, it doesn’t take much deviance to get you excited and panicky.

    Well, it’s a nice theory, but Oz actually has a wide annual climate range. One thing that makes Aussies more temperate (Aussies, not Australia itself) is their predominance on the coast. If you live near the sea, the weather tends to be milder as the huge thermal capacity of the sea acts as a large buffer.
    I live in Sydney, and have relatively mild weather. It ranges from near 0 to 20 C in the winter to 20 to up to 40 (occasionally) in the summer. That is still a fair spread! Inland it is a greater spread, probably 5C colder in the winter, and 5C warmer in the summer.
    Not so narrow a range, really. It is actually bloody cold sometimes in Sydney. I’m moving to Mackay soon, where I can get some real warmth, and use my pool at least 9 months a year!

  33. Sun is once again bereft of sunspots. ENSO is neutral. Again wondering out loud, is ENSO being trumped by GCRs? Our winter in the NH will be interesting to observe, to see if we have another tough one like last year.

  34. General question. Heidi Cullen’s Climate Central bio says:

    She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University and went on to receive a Ph.D. in climatology and ocean-atmosphere dynamics at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

    A doctorate in climatology, by name? Hadn’t heard of such before. The same line is repeated in her American Meteorological Society bio.
    I found that school’s site, it says this:
    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/education/programs/graduate-studies

    The graduate division of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers a Ph.D. degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences.

    That’s the only PhD listed. Is “Earth and Environmental Sciences” just a general term, depending on the specific courses taken and work done it can morph into something that can properly be said to be a PhD “in climatology and ocean-atmosphere dynamics”?

  35. Here in Auckland I had ice on my windscreen before midnight….I’ve never seen that before. Its usually 4-5 am before it gets that cold…but then I could see my breath at 9 pm and that’s a first.

  36. SteveE says:
    August 16, 2011 at 1:21 am
    “Snow, in winter, now there’s a turn up for the books!”
    What drives your beliefs Steve? This is a 50 year event and semi-tropical Aukland, which received their first snow in half a century. In earlier comments I made on “worst wildfires” in Texas in 50 years, worsts floods on the prairies in 50 years, biggest snowfall in 50 years in New England, and similar worsts-in-50 yrs for winters in Europe, Argentina, Peru (250 children froze to death a year or two ago) and even in Brazil were domestic animals and wild died of the cold, submarines surfacing at the north pole 50 years ago….. I felt that these events provide some skill in longer range forecasting. For posterity, let me predict that we are going into a strong cooling period, will have another warming period through mid century and a cooling one through 2100 with the polar ice building up and declining and rebuilding again.
    Anthony, if someone isn’t already doing this kind of forecasting, I think it might be a good thing to look at. For WUWT, you could have a “50 yrs ago today” type of feature that would be entertaining and informative.

  37. It’s hard to blame the Kiwis for ETS. They got screwed on the Kyoto deal. When they signed on to Kyoto, they thought that they would have no problem meeting emission targets; lots of trees and greenery, few industrial emissions, etc. Then after the ink was dry, someone realized all their sheep and cows have considerable emissions. Instead of being “carbon neutral”; Kyoto would cost each human inhabitant of New Zealand NZ$1000/year.
    http://www.news.com.au/opinion/committing-to-kyoto-would-come-at-cost/story-e6frfs99-1111114657019

  38. Staff at Wellington Zoo took advantage of the first major snowfall in the capital for 40 years to give the visiting penguin ”Happy Feet” a dip in an icy saltwater pool.
    Hmm. Are we still so sure that the penguin was lost? Perhaps he’s an advance scout looking for new feeding and breeding grounds. 🙂

  39. “Anthony, if someone isn’t already doing this kind of forecasting, I think it might be a good thing to look at. For WUWT, you could have a “50 yrs ago today” type of feature that would be entertaining and informative.”
    Not a bad idea!
    I’d also like to see a feature where we compare current conditions (along with where we are in the solar cycle) with what was going on 11 years ago…or 22…or 33…or 44…you get the idea.

  40. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 16, 2011 at 9:12 am
    General question. Heidi Cullen’s Climate Central bio says:
    She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University and went on to receive a Ph.D. in climatology and ocean-atmosphere dynamics at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
    A doctorate in climatology, by name? Hadn’t heard of such before. The same line is repeated in her American Meteorological Society bio.
    I found that school’s site, it says this:
    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/education/programs/graduate-studies
    The graduate division of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers a Ph.D. degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences.
    That’s the only PhD listed. Is “Earth and Environmental Sciences” just a general term, depending on the specific courses taken and work done it can morph into something that can properly be said to be a PhD “in climatology and ocean-atmosphere dynamics”?

    I’m not questioning Dr. Cullen’s curriculum vitae, I’m questioning the veracity of her statements. As she has a doctorate in science, she is presumably qualified to offer an educated opinion.
    The question remains: Where is the evidence that backs up her opinion?

  41. I live about 25m above sea level near Hamilton in the North Island. It snowed here on Monday. I wasn’t around in 1939 so for me it was a first. With the sun going quiet, I wonder how long it will be before it happens again?

  42. Geoff Sharp says:
    August 16, 2011 at 4:52 am
    NZ is in the grip of a severe jet stream straight from Antarctica. This seems to be the pattern during winter when the Sun is extra quiet. The amount of low pressure systems around the bottom end is notably different from what we would normally expect.

    Interesting, just what I was thinking today when reading about NZ and looking at the daily temperature anomalies. The temperature anomaly over the Antarctic continent has been quite high over the last weeks of winter, just as there was a positive anomaly in the Arctic as Europe (and Florida – and parts of Asia, even Vietnam!) was freezing last NH winter.
    This also explains why the global temperature indexes that include more of the area near the poles (UAH and GISS – and RSS in the NH) are showing higher anomalies than the others (RSS in the SH and HadCrut). I think that including the winter temperatures above 70N or below 70S in a measure of “global warming” (remember, 10 C “warmer” may just mean that it’s -50C instead of -60C in the Antarctic mountains…) is just making the “warming signal” noisier because it conceals the cooling of the mid-latitudes.

  43. Heat records in all 50 states?
    Here in Oregon it has been cold. We had the coldest spring ever recorded.
    There is still a great amount of snow in the passes east of where I am. My
    house is at about 1500 feet elevation, and it was in the high 40s at night last
    week. Across the street from my house the blackberries are not even ripe yet.
    Farmers have given up on a 3rd crop for this year.
    I am going to cut and split an extra cord of wood for the coming winter.

  44. Jer0me says:
    August 16, 2011 at 2:36 am
    OMG, Al Gore is in NZ?
    ***
    Not as far as I know, but Helen Clark, our former PM and responsible for the ETS legislation, was here on a visit last week from New York (where she works for the UN). Perhaps the Al Gore effect is spreading to acolytes.

  45. Kadaka, in my experience, PhDs are offered by programmes or departments, but they are not endorsed by name in anything. The PhD is a generic, University wide qualification. Mine was undertaken in a department of Geography with an urban studies topic, so it is correct for me to say that I have a PhD in either Geography or Urban Studies. But the certificate says only PhD.
    Heidi can thus say that her PhD is in Environmental Science or climate science, etc, depending on the context without being misleading.
    Now thawing in Dunedin, but still plenty of snow inland and on the hills.

  46. Well we haven’t had that much more snow than some winters in the last few years here in Dunedin but it has remained on the ground a lot longer than usual and twice in three weeks is unusual. But then one year in the mid 70’s we had snow at Christmas (supposed to be summer at that time of the year here). It’s all just weather as far as I can judge.
    Douglas

  47. “Once in a lifetime” or “once in 50 years” are not quite accurate, I feel. Surely we are seeing a similar event to those from around 1976/77 and 1939. Were these not periods of unstable weather accompanying a change in direction of climate (1939 was before the change to cooling, 1976/77 was before the change to warming)?

  48. Paul Deacon
    I agree with you . There have been a number of things happening recently that last happened in the early 1970’s — eg . Queensland floods and the last time the flood gates had to be opened on the lower Mississippi River

  49. I moved to Rotorua 6 years ago, and people thought that winter felt the coldest for ages, though no snow fell.
    4 years ago we had a snow shower (more like sleet really) in town, and people said it was the first time that this had happened for years.
    Each winter since then we have had snow falling either in town or on the surrounding hills (the city is in a volcanic crater 320m above sea level, with hills rising up to a peak around 720m, though most are a lot lower) down to about 60m above lake/town level.
    This snow fall was the longest duration in town, but less settled on the hills than last year.
    So, whilst this snow storm is only a weather event, I am wondering how many snowy winters in a row makes a trend and can be classed as climate?

  50. @ Peter S
    I am wondering how many snowy winters in a row makes a trend and can be classed as climate?
    Those years will be removed from the data range just like the Maunder, Dalton and Spörer Minimums where removed, we can’t have a wobbly hockey stick, the plebs wont understand it. /sarc off
    I think that is a really good question, who says it has to be 30 years, wouldn’t a billion be better, maybe 3 will do, to me a data set (climate) is more than one point of data, for example two points of data, that would show a trend, the more data points the better we understand the trend or do we? In terms of this planet will we ever have the grey matter to understand it. I don’t know.

  51. This is in today’s NZ Herald.
    Opposing weather patterns to blame
    Snow, sleet, graupel, hail and ice – New Zealand has seen the entire range of frozen conditions over the past few days of Arctic weather.
    The extreme conditions have been caused by opposing weather patterns, said Niwa principal scientist James Renwick. (One of our Warmists)
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10745581
    Cold sees electricity demand skyrocket
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/weather/news/article.cfm?c_id=10&objectid=10745582

  52. Never fear, Dr. John Holdren, White House Science Advisor, is here!
    Please see his powerpoint presentation regarding “Meeting the Energy-Climate Challenge” for some of his brilliant insights into how anthropogenic carbon emissions cause heat, rain, snow, plagues of locusts and miasmas….or, as he puts it, “climate disruption.”
    http://www.iit.edu/grand_challenges/powerpoint_presentations.shtml
    For example, his Slide 4:
    Climate = weather patterns, meaning averages, extremes, timing, spatial distribution of…
    -hot & cold
    -cloudy & clear
    -humid & dry
    -drizzles & downpours
    -snowfall, snowpack, & snowmelt
    -breezes, blizzards, tornadoes, & typhoons
    Climate change means disruption of the patterns.
    (he left out flatulence, B.O. and other disruptive conditions IMHO)

  53. I have lived in Auckland since 1955, so I don’t remember the 1939 storm. I do remember seeing a white cap on one of the eastern suburbs volcanic cones one winter morning about 1960 or so. There was no ground frost so it couldn’t have been that and it disappeared pretty quickly after sunrise.
    On Thursday, 3rd June 1976, it was sleeting in downtown Auckland (CBD). That’s not quite snow, but it’s close.
    It snowed in the high Wellington suburbs (Newlands et al) over the night of the 6th-7th June that year. On the morning of the 7th (I arrived in Wellington on the 6th—a Sunday), cars coming into the city still had several inches of snow on their rooves, and the Rimutaka hills to the north had a good covering.
    Between then and now, some snow has fallen around Auckland suburbs overnight during some cold spells—at least twice if my memory serves. These falls were all gone by sunrise.
    Over the early to middle 1970s, I remember cold (frosty) dry Julys. South Island farmers have often had to scramble to save their August lambs from a sudden snow fall.
    This cold patch is really nothing new. This all happens about once a decade +/- a few years.
    What is unusual is the weather system alignment producing this one. This time we haven’t been battered by a storm (it missed :-).

  54. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 16, 2011 at 7:40 am
    “All 50 US states broke heat records this summer.
    Hardly. The Pacific Northwest, Washington, Oregon have been COLD COLD COLD through July. It has only been remotely summer like for the past two weeks.
    http://www.komonews.com/weather/blogs/scott/122804029.html
    Spring 2011: A broken record of broken records
    By Scott Sistek
    Story Created: May 29, 2011 at 3:06 PM PDT
    Is breaking records is starting to sound like a broken record? It is if you’re tracking how this spring stacks up against the previously coldest spring months in Seattle.

  55. “Hardly. The Pacific Northwest, Washington, Oregon have been COLD COLD COLD through July. It has only been remotely summer like for the past two weeks.”
    We have not hit the 90’s even once this year at the WA/OR border.

  56. Here in Christchurch (NW suburb 5km from city centre), we had about a day and a half of intermittent snow (Sunday night to Tuesday morning). Since Tuesday afternoon, it has mostly been light rain, with temperatures hovering above zero. Much, but not all of the snow has melted. It is not pleasant outside, because of the combination of cold, wet and wind (but the wind is nowhere near as strong as during the storm proper). The forecast now is for a couple of nights of frost, no doubt with some black ice on roads.
    The wind has been from the south since Saturday/Sunday, coming straight from Antarctica, and is forecast to change only on Friday/Saturday. This will mean something like 5-7 days of constant wind stream from polar regions. The log burner has been on constantly for 3 days so far – I took the precaution of stacking a week’s firewood in the porch.

  57. Here in Christchurch, the wind is still from the south. We have had nearly 2 days of near-constant rain, but it is so cold that it has failed to completely melt the snow!

  58. Have any of the ‘Brain-boxes” on this site thought to Google the actual global average temperature. The latest months satellite average temp can be found by a Google for ‘Roy Spencer’ (University of Huntsville Alabama) Mr Spencer is a practicing climate scientist and ‘skeptic’. The record will disappoint most on this site. It continues to show a clear upward trend – despite a quite sun & negative PDO.

  59. Sophocles,
    I am of a similar vintage to you having spent most of the last 54 years on the Lower North Island’s west coast I can relate to those small events of the ’70s, but in no way do they compare with this event. having read about the July (and even August) 1939 event I would have to say that for nation-wide impact this 2011 event can only be compared to 1939, and possibly 1904 (I have found less info on that one so far).

  60. I guess if you don’t live in New Zealand, it’s just some tiny joint at the bottom of the Pacific that pops up in conversations or makes the news about once a decade or five. Has any Kiwi become a worldwide household name since Ed Hillary climbed Everest? Can’t think of one. Even the Aussies — apart from racegoers, rugger-buggers, leagueites, Queensland real estate agents and now Tassie apple growers — tend to ignore us, although their coppers are kept on their toes by some of our more enterprising expats from time to time.
    And that’s maybe why, when the Christchurch earthquake hit earlier this year, I had a few emails from abroad asking if I was OK. As I’m eight degrees of latitude north of the quake’s epicentre, the question was as daft as asking someone in Lexington, Ky, back in 2005 how they were coping with Hurricane Katrina.
    Here’s the thing about New Zealand’s weather . . . it’s varied. There’s a bloke comes on TV One’s news every night and has three goes, amounting to about ten minutes in total, trying to explain it and predict it. The job is so difficult that three or four times a week a sheila has to take over.
    Basically, here’s how the place lines up weatherwise. The deep south is cold, bloody cold, freeze your tits off cold. The far north is temperate, bordering subtropical, very pleasant. The places in between are warmer than the deep south and cooler than the far north. Because of mountains and prevailing winds and other factors, various areas have their own mini-climates.
    Just like everywhere else on the planet.
    So if someone in Dunedin posts an opinion on the current cold snap — and reckons it’s nothing out of the ordinary — then keep in mind that the poster is speaking about his own limited area and his opinion is worth as much overall as a Lexingtonian’s would be about weather in New Orleans.

  61. Taphonomic says:
    August 16, 2011 at 9:32 am
    It’s hard to blame the Kiwis for ETS. They got screwed on the Kyoto deal.
    **********************************
    Mmmmmmmm. Maybe.
    As I recall, the Kyoto deal was originally reported as being a great triumph. I forget the details and the exact figures — and I wasn’t particularly interested back then — but early headlines suggested that Treasury had done its sums and New Zealand was in for a billion-dollar windfall.
    The back-slapping had hardly ceased when the “Oops” headlines appeared . . . Treasury had recast the figures, discovered that the Europeans had pulled a swifty, and New Zealand was now in a billion-dollar hole.
    With a change of government — from centre left to centre right — and the Copenhagen fiasco, plenty of Kiwis expected New Zealand to slip out of the Kyoto nonsense.
    Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Politicians who’d been climate realists — some stridently so — when in opposition were now pushing the ETS like 19th century missionaries in Africa touting the Holy Bible.
    As with most occurrences of human behaviour, odd or otherwise, this one has the usual one-word explanation . . . money. No politician, whether he’s to the right of Reagan or to the left of Lenin, or anywhere in between, can resist the lure of a new tax.
    With things like the Christchurch earthquake and the Rugby World Cup, an ageing population and an over-generous welfare scheme, the current government have bills to pay and promises to keep. To them, global warming is manna from heaven.

  62. John Tee
    Have any of the ‘Brain-boxes” on this site thought to Google the actual global average temperature.
    Yep and if you use the link that Anthony provides, you will see that at 14,000 feet, almost every day this year has been a lot colder than its equivalent last year. None has been warmer. Seems to hold good for most levels of the atmosphere. That’s what it feels like down here, too.

  63. “John Tee says:
    August 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm
    Have any of the ‘Brain-boxes” on this site thought to Google the actual global average temperature. The latest months satellite average temp can be found by a Google for ‘Roy Spencer’ (University of Huntsville Alabama) Mr Spencer is a practicing climate scientist and ‘skeptic’. The record will disappoint most on this site. It continues to show a clear upward trend – despite a quite sun & negative PDO.”
    Have you checked AQUA ch05 lately? It has been falling like a rock since August 6 and on August 15 it was 0.45 C below the 2010 mark. It is no doubt reflecting the ENSO which has also been dropping like a rock lately and is now -0.46 which is just slightly above the La Nina mark of -0.50.

  64. Here in Christchurch it’s getting steadily a bit warmer each day, but it’s still cool, and the wind is in the south (from the Antarctic) for the 6th straight day. Log burner in its 5th day of continuous operation (previously never did more than 2).

  65. To whoever mentioned warm April in UK…
    Have you been in the country for the past 4 months? I have lived here for 16 years, and that’s the coolest I’ve experienced here. Half the days the temp doesn’t get past 20. This is freaky and might I add, cold. Today it felt like Autum. Yes, April was the warmest, but the rest of the year sure isn’t.

  66. Polar blast definitively over here in Christchurch. Warm, still and sunny today (no clouds). Log burner finally not needed after five and a half days of continuous operation. Over and out.

  67. “John Tee says:
    August 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm
    Have any of the ‘Brain-boxes” on this site thought to Google the actual global average temperature.”
    No global average actually exists and is completely meaningless to boot.

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