Waiting for a Weather Bomb

I had never come across the expression “Weather Bomb” until I arrived back in New Zealand. I have now learned how appropriate it is…my first Weather Bomb involved a Polar Blast, among other things – gosh, that was fun. The definition of a Weather Bomb is generally when the skies open, wind blasts as if racing across an Antarctic plain (which is probably where it came from), surf pounds and rain goes sideways, sometimes with a spot of hail – in short, all hell breaks loose.

You know there’s a bit of bad weather coming when the Met Service, on their website under “Severe Weather information” lists the following:

  • Coastal warnings
  • Oceanic warnings
  • VHF warnings
  • Severe weather warnings
  • Severe weather outlook
  • Severe weather watch
  • Severe Thunderstorm outlook

And under all of the above, stern and detailed predictions for what’s coming our way. And yes, I checked – there’s a difference between the Severe Weather warnings, outlook and watch…one is a detailed description for all the areas the WB is going to strike, one is a hopeful estimation of how things might settle down after it, and one is a short forecast, updated every few hours. They’re not kidding around at the Met Service – there really is some nasty weather incoming, and they will be able to say “Told you so” to anyone who dares to complain that they didn’t know it was coming.

All sorts of public events, and the sailing of ships, and many flights, have been cancelled, and I do feel sorry for anyone who might have planned a BBQ or an outdoor wedding – if I see any confetti, or sausages, blowing sideways past my house, I’ll know that some brave souls were attempting to go ahead regardless.

The thing is, the day before the WB was lovely – perfectly still, sun out in the morning, and everyone rushing about getting Just In Case items. I too had a quick look over my pantry…would I starve, and be discovered trying to gnaw my way into a can of corn, or would I make it? Reason prevailed as I recalled that this particular WB was due to exhaust itself in about 24 hours, so I ought to survive. High on the list of Stuck Inside While Storm Rages essentials:

  • Wine (If I’m watching rain go sideways all day I may as well enjoy myself)
  • More wine
  • Snacks of the crunchy, salty variety
  • OK, a few veggies, so I don’t get scurvy while waiting it out
  • Something to read (loaded up the Kindle with a few mysteries)
  • Camera charged in case there’s a gap in the rain and I can stagger out for a few dramatic shots
  • Mobile phone charged in case there’s an earthquake during the Weather Bomb
  • Torch in case the power goes off and I need to find the bathroom after drinking all that wine
  • Downloaded a few more Apps to play with on the iPod
  • A list of all the things I’ve been putting off around the house (the inside, that is), although depending on how much wine may or may not have been consumed, this could result in some impromptu, and later regretted, interior redecorating

OK, now it’s the morning of the Weather Bomb day. Woken up at around 4.30am to the sounds of lashing rain and thumping wind; thought “Storm’s here” and went back to sleep, after dealing with a rattling door or two. Note – coasters are quite good for stuffing in gaps of rattling doors. Have finally emerged from snug bed at around 11am, storm’s still here. However I am sparing a thought or two for my friends in NSW – they seem to be having the highest rainfall for something like 125 years, and lots of flooding, so Sydney must be a tad damp as well. It’s also the Gay Mardi Gras parade and party tonight in Sydney – those lovely people will party in any conditions, but hopefully their parade won’t get rained on (too much).

I’d really love to walk down to the beach with my camera, but don’t want to get my camera wet, might get blown over, might get hit by flying debris or giant wave, oh and …really don’t want to leave cosy house. So the photos above are taken from my deck with a zoom lens – close enough for today, I think. The left one is the day before the WB, centre is the last ferry arriving before they were stopped, and one on the right is choppy southerly swells on WB afternoon. Only yesterday, I was sitting on the sunny deck, barely visible in photo on left, through today’s sheets of water. Won’t need to water the pot plants for about six months after this, I shouldn’t think.

This may be optimistic of me, but at 4.30 on the Weather Bomb day, it appears to be easing; at least there’s less rain, although the wind doesn’t seem to have got the memo about easing off and is carrying on regardless. There’s also the Case of the Vanishing Hills…across the bay from me I can usually see three ranges, however today at times they’ve either disappeared altogether or there’s only been one. I’m sure they’re still there, and will reappear in the fullness of time.

Whoops – spoke too soon…rain has moved in again, and hills, harbour and next door’s house have all disappeared under sheets of rain – view is almost completely white now. Time for another glass of something pleasant….

So, I am weathering the weather, and I hope you are too.

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