Bell Block and New Plymouth have knocked some of the country’s better-known sunny spots off their perch after notching a record year of sunshine in 2013. With a total of 2668 hours of sunshine, Bell Block and New Plymouth is provisionally the second sunniest place in the country, trailing only Whakatane. It left places like Nelson and Gisborne in its shadow. It’s the second year in a row Bell Block and New Plymouth has clocked record sunshine hours. Last year the Bell Block and New Plymouth enjoyed 2433 hours of sunlight, the highest since records started in 1972. Whakatane has been the national sunshine capital in three of the last four years. Last year the sun shone on the Bay of Plenty town for 2792 hours. Gisborne came third with 2483 hours, and Lake Tekapo fourth with 2482 hours. Nelson was the fifth most sunny spot, with 2411 hours. The sunshine hour totals were taken from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) database, with the weather station being based out of Bell Block’s New Plymouth’s Airport.
The family of climbers Nicole Sutton and Hiroki Ogawa saw marriage in their future. Instead, today, the couple’s bodies have been airlifted off Mt Egmont/Taranaki. A break in the weather allowed a recovery operation to begin at 6.50am today, Tuesday 29/10/2013. Air Force personnel dropped Alpine Cliff Rescue team members on the mountain this morning. They winched Ogawa and Sutton off the mountain and returned to New Plymouth. The recovery took just over an hour.
The two climbers who died in a snow cave on Mt Taranaki were independent and did their own thing.Nicole Sutton, 29 and Hiroki Ogawa, 31, died after spending two nights in the snow cave, after bad weather hindered the rescue effort. Ogawa was dead when rescuers reached him about 7.30am Monday 28th October 2013. Sutton was conscious and spoke with rescuers when they first arrived. The rescue team provided medical assistance, for several hours however, Sutton became unconscious and later died. At a press conference this afternoon Nicole’s parents Keith and Anna Sutton said they expected the couple would get married. The couple met two years ago, Mr Sutton said. A photo of Nicole Sutton, 29 and Hiroki Ogawa, 31, is below of them climbing on Mt Egmont/Taranaki.
BREAKING NEWS: A man has died after spending two nights in a snow cave on Mt Egmont/Taranaki. Taranaki area commander Police inspector Blair Telford said a 31-year-old Japanese man had been found dead when searchers reached the missing climbers at 7:30am. The search was now a rescue and recovery operation and the focus was on getting the 29-year-old woman off the mountain safely, he said. The weather is still hampering rescuers and helicopters are unable to fly. Police Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre said the weather forecast was good and conditions up the mountain are clearer than yesterday. “They can actually stand up now so that’s really positive.” A group of rescuers had to turn back at 4am this morning but a second group had reached the pair at 7:30am.
Rescuers are hoping to reach two climbers stranded on Mt Egmont/Taranaki for two nights in near freezing temperatures.The two Auckland Alpine Club members – a 29-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man – got stuck on the mountain about 10pm on Saturday 26/10/2013 and rescuers were unable to reach them on Sunday 27/10/2013. A crew is expected to make another effort this morning, Monday 28/10/2013. The pair have dug a snow cave near the 2518-metre summit and were able to send a text message on Sunday afternoon. A 65-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman, who were also with the climbing group, were able to walk off the mountain on Sunday. However, efforts to rescue the trapped pair have been hampered by poor weather.
Bad weather is hampering a search for two climbers stranded in a snow cave on Mt Egmont/Taranaki. A search and rescue effort was launched about 10pm on Saturday 26th October 2013 after two men and two women aged between 29 and 65 did not return from a summit attempt. Taranaki Police Inspector Blair Telford has said that a 65-year-old man and 38-year-old woman managed to reach the North Egmont Visitor Centre at 11am on Sunday 27th October 2013 where they were treated for mild hypothermia and cuts and bruises. A man and a woman, aged 31 and 29, are holed up in a snow cave. “They are very experienced and well equipped,” he said. “We’ve been using a number of resources, including the air force, but helicopter use is limited at the moment.” Rescue teams on the ground are looking for the pair based on a last known location. They are part of a group visiting the region and one person is from overseas. Mr Telford says conditions on the mountain are “filthy”. “We are hoping there is a window Sunday evening,” he said.
Bell Block and Taranaki could be in for a battering with a wind watch in place for the region. Mt Egmont/Taranaki is expected to be hit by heavy rain peaking at about 15 to 20mm an hour over night, Tuesday 15th October, and It should ease by 6am tomorrow morning. The Taranaki Regional Council said there may be localised surface flooding in some areas. The rivers draining the mountain will rise and there maybe moderate flooding within river systems. There is also a heavy rain watch for the eastern hills.
Coats and brollies were compulsory wear in Bell Block and throughout Taranaki today and tomorrow 21/22nd September 2013. A weather warning remains in place for Bell Block and the whole of Taranaki through to Sunday morning with flooding in some places, the MetService says. Falls between 80-100mm are expected over much of Bell Block and Taranaki and between 150-200mm on the mountain. Northerly winds will be strong in exposed places, gusting to 30knots (60kmh). The heavy rain and thunderstorms can be expected into tomorrow morning easing to isolated showers during the morning. Winds turn to the north-west and remain fresh. Showers continue on Monday morning 23rd September 2013 with increasing fine breaks and westerly winds.
July 2013 was warmer, drier and sunnier than usual in Bell Block and Taranaki.The New Zaland Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research’s monthly climate summary released on Tuesday 6th August 2013 showed mean temperatures in South Taranaki were well above average and 0.5 to 1 degrees Celsius above the July average for the rest of the region. Bell Block, New Plymouth and Hawera all recorded the second highest wind gusts on record on July 14th 2013, with 128kmh and 104kmh respectively.
A huge waterspout has been seen off the New Plymouth coast this morning, Wednesday 7th August 2013. At around 7:20am people reported seeing the spout about 2 kilometres offshore from Fitzroy and Waiwhakaiho. Estimated the spout was about 50-100 metres wide and pulling in around 200m of water, it moved towards the shore and hit land at the Links near Bell Block where it kept going for a short time before it disappeared from view. Fire and police services said there had been no reports of damage. The amazing Photo Credit is to the the well-known surfer Daisy Day.
So does someone have to be killed?, before Waiwhakaiho’s Self Storage is once and for all closed down. In what has now become usual during such events, the high winds also tore the roof off Waiwhakaiho’s Self Storage Taranaki. It is the fourth time the roof has ripped off the storage sheds. The first time was in January 2011, then again just 12 weeks later. The third and most recent time was in March 2012.They have had 4 times in 3 years to get it right, and they still can’t. Who is paying for the Police, Fire Service, and a long list of other people required to fix this mess every time there is a puff of wind? It’s not just any road that is closed down. It is a state highway (SH3) in and out of Bell Block and the main trunk to Auckland. There was so much iron flying about State Highway 3 between Katere Rd and Egmont Rd, it was closed temporarily by police. This time it is also noted that Fallen trees in the same area also contributed to the road closure. Were are all the local MP’s?, and forget about a local NPDC Councilor making a noise, they are too busy voting on items they weren’t even elected on. A prime example of this was taking fluoride out of our drinking water.!!!!
Update from the Metservice. The wind watch has been upgraded to a warning, severe gale force winds expected until around 10pm Sunday 14th July 2013, easing overnight. gusts up to 130 km/hr poss. Remember, if you see something that is a threat to people, call 111 and tell emergency services. If main power lines are down, call Powerco on 0800 27 27 27. If you have power out on your own property, call your power supplier. Power is still out in some areas. Stay indoors tonight as loose items may blow around, and will be hard to see in the dark. Take care when driving.
Heavy south-westerly swells have been forecast for Bell Block Beach and the whole Taranaki coast. Care is to be taken in low coastal areas as waves are expected to rise to five metres late tomorrow evening, Sunday 7th July 2013 before easing back by Monday afternoon, 8th July 2013. The large swells are expected to hit the coast from Mokau to Opunake.
More heavy rain and thunderstorms are possible in Bell Block tonight Monday 22nd April 2013 and tomorrow morning Tuesday 23rd April 2013. The MetService has issued another severe weather warning for Bell Block and Taranaki. A complex area of low pressure is currently crossing New Zealand and humid, unstable air associated with this system is bringing bursts of heavy rain and thunderstorms to parts of the North Island and upper South Island, MetService said. In the nine hours from 9am to 6pm today, another 30-70mm of rain is possible on top of what has already fallen, especially about northern slopes of the mountain. Peak rainfall rates of 15 to 25mm per hour are possible and showers are expected to continue tonight Monday 22nd April 2013 and through much of tomorrow,Tuesday 23rd April 2013. To learn more visit: http://www.metservice.co.nz
The MetService have issued a severe thunderstorm watch for bell Block and Taranaki this morning, Sunday 21st April 2013 . MetService said there was the potential for the development of severe thunderstorms capable of producing flooding, heavy rainfall and damaging winds with hail and small tornadoes possible. People are being warned that heavy rain could cause flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips.
Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain, MetService said. Squally winds and possible small tornados may cause some structural damage, including damage to trees and power lines, and make driving hazardous. If any did occur they will only affect very localised areas. The watch is in addition to the severe weather warning already in place across the region. MetService said heavy rain was expected in the six hours from 9am Sunday 21st April 2013 , and a further 50-80mm is likely to accumulate on the Mountain. About 30- 50mm is possible in localised areas lower down, especially in northern parts of Taranaki with peak rainfall rates of 25-40mm/hr possible with thunderstorms. for more info, visit: http://www.metservice.co.nz