Relative Velocity

Those of us who fly out of NZ reasonably frequently will have noticed how flight times differ significantly depending on whether one is travelling west to east or east to west. Take my recent flight to and from Perth, in Western Australia.  The Auckland to Perth flight was timetabled to last 7 hours 25 minutes, […]

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Weather records

I came across the following on the BBC website  "Australia's summer broke 205 records…" It draws from the recent Climate Council report. The BBC article doesn't list them all 205 of them, but does pull out the most impressive – the hottest summer on record for Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra,  and the wettest on record […]

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The Perth climate

A quick glance at some climate statistics will tell you that Perth in February is hot, sunny and dry. The mean maximum temperature is 31.7 C for Perth city, with a mean of  7 days going above 35 Celsius, and 1 day going above 40  Celsius. February rainfall is impressive, by its absence.  The mean […]

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Tip or slide?

We had our departmental Christmas lunch on Tuesday, outside in the campus grounds. We had some lovely sunshine, but the wind did rather spoil things. I've certainly got used now to living in a very wind-free place – a fresh breeze is something quite unsual here. We were hanging on to our paper plates, but […]

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Weather and statistics

I overheard the following conversation at the best coffee outlet on campus yesterday: "Well, winter's nearly over. We're past the shortest day so it's getting warmer. And we've had eleven frosts so far this year, and the record for Hamilton is twelve, so there can only be one more to come." – Anonymous Where do […]

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Static electricity

Static electricity is, above all, fun, but it also can be annoying at times. I was at a conference in Queenstown last week, and was haunted by static everywhere I went. I’m guessing that atmospheric conditions were pretty dry, meaning that electric charge didn’t leak away quickly. When you know that you are going to […]

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What 3am looks like

I shan’t apologise for the lack of entries – other things have been on our mind in recent days. But Benjamin is sleeping just now, which gives a few minutes for some blogging. He’s already been doing a bit of physics – studying the continuity equation. That is, the change in mass equals the mass […]

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Virga

I learned a new word today: virga. It was used in a short article in one of the Sydney newspapers, discussing yesterday’s weather. Virga is simply precipitation that evaporates before it hits the ground, and we had some here yesterday. So it was raining, but we didn’t get wet. Virga can rapidly cool the air […]

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