Where are we

Monday 13 February 2023

Gabrielle moves South East

Just another 12 hours or so of wind and rain for us up here in the Upper North of Northland. We have been safe and well for the duration of the storm.

If you see a flooded BP station in any news videos, that gas/petrol station is just a short walk down river from Town Basin Marina where we are spending the strong weather. It is known to be vulnerable even in less extreme weather. Ditto the riverside walkway.

Whangarei Flooding

This was High water yesterday.  Water rises as the tide comes in, and recedes as it good out. Inland areas that have flooded won’t be so fortunate.

The worst of the rain is over for us and the wind will die down in another 12 hours or so. Southern and southeastern areas of the North Island with have continuing wind and rain until Garbrielle moves farther offshore.

Often these storms, which form in the Coral Sea off Brisbane, Australia, particularly in an La Niña year pass New Zealand with little affect.  We still have a big High pressure off to the southeast which is to blame for blocking the storm from heading east and passing over the top of New Zealand. Instead, it was direct south and it will affect southern and eastern areas for some time yet.

There is still a lot of flooding and power outages in Northland but we do have sunny days ahead that will help the situation enormously.

Friday 10 February 2023

Good grief! It has been a while.

 Hello!  All is well here in Whangārei where we are in tucked into the best berth Town Basin Marina.

We will be seen worldwide as the boat in the foreground of people’s photos of 
the Hunderwasser Art Galley and Cultural Centre.

Not only are we as close as one could possibly get to the the marina toilet block, woohoo, it’s also in a very good position should you be expecting a big blow. 

And we are waiting for a big blow thanks to Cyclone Gabrielle, now lurking in the Coral Sea off the West Coast of Australia.  It looks like it will be passing fairly close to the east coast of the Upper North of the North Island. It had been forecast as a direct hit to the Upper Northland, but every day the track seems to be moving further to the East, offshore of our location.  A big High Pressure to the southeast of New Zealand had been keeping Gabrielle tracking toward south but as it moves further southeast so does Gabrielle.

It is a big system though and will bring lots rain and strong winds to much of the North Island.  According to the last forecast we are expecting periods of wind speeds between 20 to 30 knots with the potential for gusts up to 50 knots.  Days ago the forecast was suggested gusts up to 70 knots so things are definitely going in the right direction.

We don’t really expect anything like that where we are. We are the red arrow near the top left of the screenshot. 

Most of the concern about this storm is for Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula. These areas have taken a beating in the last few weeks and we are expecting a lot of rain. 

Having said all this, there are still several days before the system will reach us and the weather models will become more accurate as it approaches.

While we wait, we aren’t taking anything for granted and are erring in the side of caution.  I’ve been found some useful sites regarding cyclone preparedness. This was my favourite - 18 Steps to Prepare for this Cyclone Season. We won’t have anything like cyclone force winds but it’s good practice and makes you better prepared to respond to a really big blow.

Today and for the first half of tomorrow (Saturday) we are having hot dry weather. Which is just as well as we can expect varying amounts of wind and rain until Tuesday or Wednesday. 

The three day forecasts are quite accurate but anything after that is subject to change. Right now the system is heading southeast, which is the right direction. 

I’m posting this now just so as not to worry anyone if it starts to appear in news cycles. 

We are safe, well and settling in for a wet and blustery few days when I’ll have lots of time to gather up the bits and pieces since January and write them up.  There were some lovely moments despite the unseasonably and unrelenting wintery summer. 

Lots of love 

Nancy and Tim