It’s Big, It’s Mean and It’s….

out west.
Tawa residents were treated to an unusual thunderstorm display last evening.

Friday was a changeable day in both Tawa and Wellington and started somewhat gloomily with a northerly gale chasing Tawa commuters off to their work in Wellington with the occasional cool shower of rain.

As the morning progressed further south in Wellington, the wind gusted from the north and a sudden downpour soaked pedestrians mid-morning before the skies lightened toward lunchtime. By mid-afternoon the sun had reappeared, the wind had dropped and the city streets began drying out. But dark clouds were gathering to the south and east.

Meanwhile, back in Tawa, the morning progressed with the odd heavy shower of rain giving way to calmer conditions by lunchtime. The temperature rose, and savvy residents took the opportunity to mow lawns and tweak gardens as the thermometer rose toward a pleasant 19 °C while the northerly eased.

City commuters began heading north out of the city under partly cloudy skies finding Tawa dry with the northerly easing. However, by 6 p.m. a change had set in, with the wind turning to the south and the thermometer dropping from 16 °C.

Shortly after 8 o’clock an intermittent booming was heard, with cloud to east and west but the sky clear overhead. As dusk fell, the booming continued and bright flashes were seen illuminating western cloud in a spectacular fashion. The activity increased, with the distant rumbles getting louder and the flashes more persistent while a thunderstorm played out over Nelson or further west in the Tasman Sea.

With the sky clear overhead, the dusk advanced slowly and locals watched from windows while children shrieked at every boom of thunder and flash of lightning. The display finished at about ten to nine with a spectacular lightning display which illuminated the intervening grey clouds in a rosy pink colour while the thunder echoed around the hills. Local children, enjoying the dry but cool evening screamed with excitement at this Christmas-time fireworks display and were called inside as night fell.

Twenty minutes later a thunderplump which would’ve made a be-droughted Aussie’s eyes water began delivering the 8 mm of rain which was to fall before 10 p.m. as the temperature dropped below 12 °C.

It was a spectacular end to a highly changeable day. And once again, mother nature’s current affairs have interrupted the crunching of the numbers for Wild Land’s monthly reports. Be patient. October’s geological summary will be published soon – nature and her distractions willing – and I can turn my attention to November’s data.

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