What is going on with the global weather? This summer, every state in the U.S. has broken heat records, and the New York area saw temperatures in the neighborhood of 108 °F [42 °C]. Dallas/Fort Worth recorded 40 consecutive days with temperatures above 100 °F [38 °C]. There were twice the number of tornadoes in the central U.S. as during a normal year, and they were deadlier. Flooding has been ubiquitous. In Asia, Baghdad, Iraq saw record temperatures of 126 °F [52 °C].
Now, on the opposite end of the globe, it is snowing.
For the first time in 80 years, Auckland, the capital of New Zealand, has seen snowfall. Further, Auckland saw its coldest day on record, at around 46 °F [8 °C]. While that does not seem low for many of us in the global north, New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), said it was the coldest day in Auckland since records began. This is such a rare event, that the northern part of the country has been referred to as the “winterless” north. That is, I suppose, until now. The last time Auckland saw snow was in 1939, a time when the world was on the brink of World War II.
Further south [on the south island], cities such as Christchurch, the scene of the recent earthquake, saw power outages, school closures and transportation woes due to the cold. Other cities, such as Dunedin, had their first snowfall in 50 years. Wellington also ground to a halt due to the snow.
Anomalous year or global climate change? Whatever the case, if you are headed to New Zealand this month, bring your snow shoes.