Blat!

Thanks to the worried readers of the Wild Land website who rang to enquire if we were deaded after the Wild Land, Tawa Weather and other websites were down for most of Friday. (I’ll be paying the Rent-a-crowd bill promptly this month, to reward you for your concern).

Thor has certainly been partying around Wellington this week.

He kicked off with a brief thunderstorm just after 10 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday 12th but quickly became bored and headed off to the pub. He was back just after midnight, however, having got a new head of steam up. His performance kept some Tawa residents awake with a series of thunderstorms punctuated by very noisy showers of hail which abated about 3:30 a.m.

The following night, Thursday 14th we were treated to a very noisy thunderstorm which drove hail against north facing windows between 9:15 and 10:30 p.m. The lightning was very spectacular.

Thor seems to have taken a few hours off for a snooze but was back in the skies over Tawa at 7:30 Friday morning. For nearly two hours he threw hail about and beat drums to the accompaiment of flashes of lightning. He managed to temporarily close State Highway 58 (Hayward’s Hill Road) with hail which quickly turned to ice in the cool temperatures, and took a swipe at Radio New Zealand’s transmitter at Titahi Bay. This took out Radio New Zealand National’s programme on 576 in the AM band, and technical staff weren’t able to get the smoke back into the transmitter until 2 o’clock that afternoon.

A sudden dump of hail at about 8:15 a.m. Friday managed to pelt several “happy” commuters en route to the railway station, but the attendant electrical activity also took down the servers which host Wild Land, Tawa Weather and other websites of national importance (cough).

The Sysop responsible sacrificed an ale or two and heroically trudged through the weather to restore the server access early that evening.

After several days of thundery activity, a new local sport has been developed. Sneaking up behind tired-looking Tawa residents and going “boom” has become rather popular. The responses are varied, however.

Thor’s farewell gesture was to ruin a much-needed sleep-in for red-eyed Tawa residents on Saturday morning. Once again hail crashed onto the roof between 6:30 and 7:15 a.m., thunder boomed and lightning lit up the dark landscape. To add insult to injury, a large wind-gust just before 10 a.m. tore Tawa Weather’s max/min thermometer from its mounting and broke it. So much for manual back-up.

Thor has also been active up north in recent weeks, where he has been sending jolts along phone lines causing the smoke to escape from various electrical devices. This item on the New Zealand Weather Forum shows what happened to the modem serving a weather station when it was hit by lightning. (scroll to the bottom of the page).

One Response to “Blat!”

  1. Dorothy says:

    Cor Blimey! There was I thinking that Thor was a Norse God! I had not realised he had been adopted by Tawa residents, perhaps they prefer him to Lyn which seems strange as she didn’t, I thought, create as much havoc! Looking forward to a cheque in the post although I suspect it will be more likely a person from the former Soviet Country.

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