3 April 2008

The weather outside is frightful...

... but I'm not talking about let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. As I've mentioned recently we are in the middle of autumn here in the southern hemisphere and with that comes changes in the weather. Not unlike you in the northern hemisphere we get fronts which bring in colder air. The difference is the fronts in the northern hemisphere usually come from the north or west. The cold fronts push cold air down from the North Pole (Santa country), which pushes the warm moist air from the south down and out of the way. Usually when this happens it results in rain or even a thunderstorm or two.

The fronts here in our neck of the woods also come from the west but the cold fronts come in from the south out of the Antarctic (the south pole (Santa's summer home). It's just a little reversed but the same occurrences happen in respect to the storms. Last night we had such a storm. As a side note there is nothing but water, specifically the Great Southern Ocean, between us and the Antarctic so we are the first port of call for those cold fronts. Lucky us.

The front started coming through about midday yesterday. The winds picked up and you could see the battle being fought between the warm air from the north and the cold air from the south, because our big maple tree in the back was pummeled by wind gust from one direction and then the other. Now when I say wind I mean wind like in gale force. We live on a very, very high hill looking down on the city and the harbour so it's not unusual to get high winds and even higher wind gusts but yesterday and last night were exceptional. We were getting gusts at the height of of the storm of 85-95 mph with sustained winds of 35 mph. This morning the wind gusts are still reaching 45 mph and sustained winds of 25 mph.

About midnight I heard this loud crash so I got up to investigate but couldn't figure out what or where it had come from or what had actually happened to cause such a crash and by then it was sheeting down with rain and I just figured there wasn't a hole in my roof or the doors so it could wait until the morning. I sure wasn't going to venture outside to have a better look. As I said it could wait.

I slept on the couch last night as James was at work (he works night duty in the ER) and because the winds were so bad I was worried about the new doors we had put in because basically we now have a huge wall of glass covering the back of our house which faces north. So the northerly warm winds were fighting the cold Antarctic winds off the Southern Ocean and they were buffeting our back doors like there's no tomorrow. I fought my way outside and put away our wooden table and chairs to make sure they weren't going to be picked up and pushed (thrown) into the new doors. I spent the rest of the night nodding off only to be jerked out of my slumber by yet another rattling of the doors. Rattling was an understatement as the entire house had been shaken so much that I could feel it through the couch where I was sleeping and I was waiting for the house to start showing some damage, what kind I don't know and don't want to know but I just knew it was going to happen. Luckily damage to the house never eventuated.

Now I don't know what I was worried about in reference to this little house. It's a quaint little wooden cottage with a corrugated iron roof which is wonderful when it rains as it bounces and pings against the roof and lulls you off to sleep, but that's a different story. Anyway as I said, I don't know what I was worried about as far as the house is concerned. I mean it's been here over 115+ years and I'm sure it's seen it's share of storms and I'm sure last nights storm won't be it's last. At the end of the day 115+ years later and this house is still standing. What's to worry

So come this morning as the sun was coming up even though it's still pouring out none the less it is getting light outside I was having look around in the back yard from the kitchen windows and to my surprise and not in a good way I found one of our large ceramic pots has been turned over on it's side by the wind. Now you need to know that this pot holds a four foot fir tree. She ain't light weight by any means. In fact pot, soil and tree I imagine weighs at least 150 maybe 180 pounds. I can only imagine what might have happened with the table. Actually sitting here thinking about the tree, I suppose it could have just as well be knocked into the windows also seeing that it was sitting just 1 foot from the doors and ended up 3 feet away.

Anyway, the back side of the cold front is moving through as we speak and as I mentioned early the winds have died down but still are a nice gentle breeze at 20-25 mph. This should pass and when it's all over the only thing we will have to deal with is some very fresh, crisp, cool autumn days (heck who am I kidding it will be down right cold). I have the fireplace on in the office as I type this and I can only imagine what winter has in store for us. I don't much care as long as it keeps the winds to itself.


Anonymous said...

Very glad you're safe! By the way, what was the big crash you heard? The pot turning over?

Moys said...

Glad you "weathered" the storm! Pity about the pot though?
Hope all has settled. I figured Victoria was getting a rough time and didn't think about you guys a little further South!!
Stay save..XXX

Ur-spo said...

dear me
all that backwards weather - and even the hurricans spin in a different direction.
it must be challenging
does the sun arch to the north?

CJ said...

Glad you survived and avoided the dreams of the wicked witch and OZ. I love the wind but 80mph? Whew My house couldn't handle that. Enjoyed the read though and your perspective from down under.