Weather Can Be Cruel when we least expect it. Like now. Its summertime. Sunshine, blue skies, bbqs and beach visits. In the northern half of New Zealand we’re okay. Although we do face drought conditions. The days are hot and muggy and yes, to my mind, beautiful. But then, I love the heat. If the temperatures sneak up above “normal”, I hope I never complain.
However in the southern reaches of our lovely island nation, the weather has taken a cruel turn. It is not hot down there and the rain appears to not want to cease. Milford Sound – one of the major tourist attractions here – is currently cut off due to flooding. A state of emergency was declared in Fiordland as people became stranded by slips and swollen rivers. Cruise ships which sail through Fiordland Sounds to view the spectacular scenery are currently bypassing this highlight many cruisers look forward to seeing. The impact of over one metre of rain falling in the last sixty hours has truly “muddied the waters”.
Do you believe climate change is a real threat? Are the changing weather patterns caused by human intervention? Or just a natural cycle of change which has always existed? Something seems to be going on. Over the last few years, to a layperson, weather has become cruel and unpredictable. Disastrous floods in summer. Warm and mild winters which no longer kill off bugs and errant vegetation. High and King tides occur where the waves penetrate further inland than ever before.
While meteorologists explain the phenomenon which grace our weather patterns today, I find these changes unsettling and more than a little concerning. Or is it just that I haven’t yet lived long enough to understand the weather has always revolved in cycles of “good and bad” and in another hundred years it will have all changed again? I don’t know. I just liked it when the four seasons were at least slightly predictable with regard to what weather we might expect.