Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

Batten down the hatches.


Cyclone Pam is heading our way. When it passed over Vanuatu it was a category 5 cyclone with winds up to 340 Km/hr (211 mph) destroying almost everything in its path.

Fortunately there’s a lot of cool ocean between Vanuatu and NZ so it should reduce in significantly in intensity. Never the less, the MetService is warning of gale force winds and that the sea may rise by as much as 3.5 m (11.5 ft) and 5 m (16.5 ft) tomorrow.

Similar storms in the past have caused land slips and heavy flooding due to the very heavy rain of a large area, swelling rivers and streams which are unable to drain quickly due to the high seas.

While grateful that the storm is likely to track down the east coast avoiding damage in my locality, I will really miss not being able to enjoy the adrenaline rush I always get during such events. I’ve never taken mind altering drugs, but I doubt they could ever produce anything so exhilarating as a really good storm. If I’m destined to end my life violently, let it be due to a cyclone.

As much as I would have liked to include a weather animation here, WordPress won’t allow me to do so. The best I can do is this link: The weather tracked in real time

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and was diagnosed as being autistic aged sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

9 thoughts on “Batten down the hatches.

  1. Whoa! That’s a big’un. I hope everything comes out as well as it can. How often do you guys get storms of that size Barry? We don’t get anything even vaguely that size. Winds of 90 kmph are about as big as we get. Of course, we have that whole winter thing going on and let me tell you snow with winds of 90 kmph is deadly – it completely shuts down our city – often for days. Anyway, I too love storms. They are very exciting and when i drove for a living, being on the road during a major storm was a high that is hard to match. When it got too bad to continue I would stop and watch until the storm died down. My truck had a sleeper berth and snuggling down in the warmth of the sleeper while the wind rocked the truck and snow or rain beat against the cab was my favorite way to sleep. I certainly understand your excitement. Enjoy!

    • NZ is quite windy. Wellington, our capital, which is about 2 hours drive south of where I live can have over 200 days per year where winds top gale force.

      Winds are not quite so strong here, but there’s a very good reason why I can see the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere from my window.

      If you look closely at the image at the top of the page, you can just make out some of the 160 turbines on the horizon.

      • That is so cool – you could get a serious percentage of your power needs form wind power – very rare.

        • Currently only about 7% of our electricity comes from wind power, but that’s the area of greatest growth.

          In the South Island, 98% of the power comes from hydro generation, and most of the rest comes from wind.

          In the North Island, most power comes from renewables – geothermal 25%, hydro 23%, wind 7%. But a sizeable chunk comes from fossil fuels – natural gas 34%, coal 9%. The rest comes from bio-energy.

          It’s very unlikely that any new generators relying on fossil fuel will ever be built here and I doubt that nuclear energy will be considered due to the earthquake risk. (Contrary to popular belief, NZ is not nuclear free – it’s nuclear weapons free.)

          Renewable generation such as wind power are not subsidised here as they are in many countries, and all power generators must compete in an open spot market. This does make it a somewhat risky proposition for new technologies.

          • Really. Our gov’t gets heavily into subsidizing new energy production methods – often to their chagrin (gotta hate it as a politician when you give a stump speech at a solar mfg plant that declares bankruptcy the next week). But they have backed some winners and some have become self-sustaining. We are lucky that we have the geography to support a lot of Hydro projects so about 1/3 of our electricity comes form there. The biggest chunk is from nuclear and we have the uranium resources and technology to support it. The rest is oil/gas/coal fired generation. Our far Northern communities are too isolated to depend on anything but diesel generation (no roads) – the fuel is flown or (during the short season) shipped in. We have oodles of empty space to use for solar or wind collection. The biggest issue with those is that the electricity is not produced during peak usage hours and storage is not technically feasible yet. We are working (as is everyone else) on storage solutions and that appears to be the key to alternate energy usage.

            Meanwhile our gov’t assists anyone who has a good business plan for alternate energy or storage solutions.

            • The state offers no subsidies to any sector of the NZ economy. I’m not a hundred percent certain, but I believe NZ is the only completely subsidy-free nation.

  2. Screw the adrenaline rush, Barry. Stay safe.

  3. That would be a good way to die, but you ensure it is so strong that it kills you

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