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New Zealand’s Wild Weather by the MetService


I think of the song Four Seasons in One Day by Crowded House in reverential connection to the weather in the little country in the South Pacific where we find ourselves. And, it is the MetService’s job to use every technological advancement possible to try and predict the unpredictable when it comes to frenetic weather patterning and rather unusual situations for meteorologists.


It’s hard to imagine a more frustrating job than predicting weather for New Zealand - particularly the isthmus of Auckland. It truly has four seasons in a single 24 hour period - even 12 hour sometimes.


In the new publication New Zealand’s Wild Weather, the MetService explores and explains the rationale behind the weather cycles that we find so common in our country. A small island nation surrounded by masses of ocean is absolutely vulnerable to extremes. Adding in the ring of fire of volcanic activity that circumnavigates the globe and cuts right through our land and you see just how much the pressure systems that dictate our weather are affected.


The writing and the use of graphics within the book makes for very accessible reading and simplifies the complex into the comprehensible. Even the most rudimentary concepts are clearly delivered and built upon to ensure comprehension. One feels equipped to explain the weather more comprehensively after reading it. Certainly giving a lot more understanding of the low hanging cumulus or the isolated weather patterning unique to a particular region.


Of particular note is the expert analysis of the impact of climate change on weather in New Zealand. Often times such conversations take a global perspective and cite areas that often seem too far away to concern ourselves with, but throughout the book leading climatologists such as Professor James Renwick explains how any change in global temperatures has a direct and sizable impact on us in our corner of the globe. It truly presses home the significance of such changes and the likely ramifications should it continue past certain points.


As you read through you find yourself nodding along, finding a sense of solace in the reasoning behind sudden changes, or the blissful summer dry spell, or the lack of winter rainfall in certain parts of the country while the deluge ravages other parts. They have the uncanny ability to just make sense of it all. As if responding to the Einstein maxim: ‘if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough’, MetService have proved their worth in bringing the seemingly unexplainable to a level of understanding for all.


Four Seasons in One Day...well, MetService have pretty much explained it all now.


Reviewer: Chris Reed

Penguin