Weather Watch

Weather analyst Philip Duncan checks the forecast and the story behind the temperatures

WeatherWatch: Bleak weather coincides with black sting in the tail

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Air NZ is forsaking teal for black but the koru symbol stays. Photo / Supplied
Air NZ is forsaking teal for black but the koru symbol stays. Photo / Supplied

Last month started with snow, record-breaking cold and wind chills as low as -15C, but July has been the month of fog and floods. Hamilton once held the top spot for fog but, newswise, it's Auckland that's become the San Francisco of New Zealand - a harbour city famous for its fog.

It's a nervous time to fly as fog and other weather events have delayed hundreds of flights.

But Auckland's fog was a walk in the park compared to the torrential rain that flooded the Coromandel Peninsula and Waikato this week, with rivers at their highest levels in several years.

My hometown of Te Aroha, in east Waikato, is no stranger to floods but extensive work in the 80s and 90s to build a flood protection system that spans the entire Hauraki Plains and Eastern Waikato has done a great job at managing the waters. My father recorded an average July's entire average rainfall in just 12 hours on Monday. The deluge brought flooding but nothing catastrophic. Niwa has predicted drier weather to come as we head towards the end of winter.

July is usually the coldest time of the year but in recent weeks Christchurch reached 22C (a July record for the airport) and Dunedin 18C. This past week Whangarei reached 21C and Auckland 19C. Overnight lows have been well above average, with some regions 17 to 20 degrees warmer than a month ago.

WEATHER forecasters always look for new things to talk about - anything that's in our skies is usually of interest.

This week Air New Zealand said it would drop the teal colour on aircraft tails and replace it with black. WeatherWatch.co.nz ran a poll about the change. It showed that 59 per cent like the change to black and 41 per cent preferred teal.

But teal hasn't always been the colour of choice. In the early 1980s Air New Zealand still had red and white planes, the NAC livery.

Some entirely black aircraft will also remain. Personally I love that, but then I also support having black in our national flag.

At least black ties into our culture - unlike Air Canada which changed their planes to a strange and unpopular baby blue colour several years ago. But the Air Canada tail retains the red maple leaf and Air NZ says the koru design will stay.

- Herald on Sunday

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