I don’t dwell much on things like global warming and the fact that we may all sink into the sea some time in the future. I am very good with recycling and I am a careful power consumer, but that’s about as far as it goes. One thing that is becoming extremely hard to ignore though, is the changes in the weather patterns.
This country is quite diverse in it’s weather since it is three small islands with a huge range of mountains down the centre. Auckland is a thin isthmus spanning three harbours. We don’t have extremes in temperature and we don’t have bad storms. In fact, I’ve only experienced hail a handful of times and I’ve only been in snow when I’m skiing. It does snow down in the South Island and high in some of the North Island ranges, but there has never been snow in Auckland. I don’t actually remember seeing frost since my childhood.
There is no doubt that things are changing though. A couple of years ago things started getting a bit weird. Rain started coming down at such a rate that floods and slips were happening in places that just weren’t prepared for them. Houses were being washed away and roads were being closed by rubble falling from banks. On occasion a bridge would wash away and people would be stranded for days at a time. Last year it got so cold down south that the power went out and the weather stopped anyone getting in to fix it for over a week. People were stranded on their farms in the dark in sub-zero temperatures. That sort of thing is just unheard of here.
Every year now we seem to have an indian summer. The seasons are changing. This winter we have had about a week of extreme cold (for Auckland – 5 degrees overnight) and we’re past half way through. The rains started last week. And with them came tornadoes. In my lifetime I have never seen a tornado. Now they’re happening in my city? There have been several in the last few days. The insurance companies are getting edgy.
And then this morning the world turned purple.
It was eerie. The light was very, very weird. It was just like you see in movies of rural America before tornadoes hit. And they are telling us on the radio to stay inside our houses if they strike. Huh? How on earth am I supposed to keep my head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening if they have warnings on the radio?
I don’t know what we’ve done, but mother nature is not happy with us.