Sunday and Monday the worst winter storm in seventy years hit New Zealand, beginning in the south and moving north. New Zealand is near Antarctica (and the south pole), and during the winter months, Antarctic storms will move north. (It still seems strange to call them “Antarctic storms”, since I’ve always lived with Arctic storms.)
Some places, such as Auckland, haven’t had snow since June 1976. (Remember that winter is during June, July and August here in New Zealand.) People were stranded at airports and ski resorts, especially in the South Island, which was hardest hit.
We received no snow here where we live in Whakatete Bay, just north of Thames, but across the Firth of Thames, the Hunua Ranges (mountains) are said to have received a dusting, though we couldn’t see any snow.
Monday is supposed to have been the coldest day of 2011. Here at home, it was the coldest morning we have had since moving here. Thames was right at freezing (0º C, 32º F), but there still was no frost or frozen water here at our home. We really are very blessed to have very moderate weather, even compared to Thames, just six kilometers (less than four miles) south, which did have frost. We often have a couple degrees Celsius (about four degrees Fahrenheit) more than Thames has.
The storm was short lived, fortunately, and we were back up to 8º C (46ºF) this morning. Meanwhile, over in Fresno, California, near where I used to live, they are having temperatures over 100ºF (38ºC) as their highs. Just one more reason we are glad we live here now.