A change in the weather

We have had one of the warmest summers on record. Parts of New Zealand have had temperatures of more than 30 degrees for many days – as high as 37 in one or two inland places. The hot weather began even before summer and has continued for the last 3 months. New Zealand usually has mild weather – not too cold in winter and not too hot in summer. But not this summer.

Beaches and swimming pools have been popular as people try to cool off. Workers outdoors need to be careful to drink lots of water. A responsible boss has to find ways to look after his or her workers in the heat.

Hot weather and no rain have brought drought for farmers in parts of the South Island especially in Central Otago. The Southern Alps, which include our highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook at 3724m, have lost a lot of snow on the tops. Usually these mountains have some snow all year. The snow and ice hold the rocks in place but this year much of the snow is melting creating a problem with rockfall.

However, today, the end of tropical cyclone Fehi has hit the west coast of both islands and then spread to the rest of the country. The cyclone has brought heavy rain and wind. Wellington airport cancelled many flights because of the wind. Tourists are stuck in Fox Glacier or Franz Josef Glacier because trees have fallen across the road. People were evacuated from their homes in parts of Dunedin and Nelson because of floods. King tides sent huge waves over the roads in Greymouth, Westport and Auckland. A king tide is when it is full moon and when the moon is closest to the earth like now.

It certainly is a change from the calm, hot weather the day before.

Vocabulary

• drought – no rain for a long time so the grass does not grow. Note pronunciation: drought rhymes with out.
• evacuated – told to leave their homes and move to a safe place

Grammar

1. The use of present perfect tense (have had, has continued etc) to show something that began in the past but continues now.
2. One of the warmest summers. Not one of the warmest summer. Think of one thing of many. e.g. one of the children, one of the islands etc






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