27 April 2015

Auckland: a celebration in clouds

Who doesn’t like to moan about the weather? Yet, despite my initial grumblings about arriving back in Auckland to gale-force winds and driving heavy rain, its weather is one of the things I love about this maritime city.

Yesterday's weather
Perched as it is on the narrowest isthmus of the North Island – so narrow, in fact, that you can walk the 16 kilometres from coast to coast in just a few hours  Auckland enjoys a multitudinous palette of weather. Indeed, there’s a standing joke that in Auckland you can experience all four seasons in just one day. Both a rainproof jacket and sunscreen are essential at all times of the year!

Fierce tropical storms blow down from the mighty Pacific Ocean, bringing hurricane-strength winds and torrential downpours, and ice-chilled Antarctic gales blow up from the Roaring Forties, their fury funnelling north through the always wild Tasman Strait. Yet, despite being exposed to these climate extremes, Auckland’s climate is, for the most part, mild but also, invariably, damp – humid in the summer, and with frequent rain in all seasons.

The good thing about all that rain is the clouds that carry it. The clouds that light up in magnificent shades of pink, purple, orange and red at the breaking of the day and as the sun sets. The clouds that look like enormous clumps of cotton wool and can be imagined as faces or characters or scenes. The clouds that grow dark and angry and threatening then bring us the magic of lightning. And don’t even get me started on rainbows. How impoverished our lives would be without the glory of rainbows.

To show you the infinite diversity of Auckland’s weather, I have photographed the same scene – one of the views from my inner-city apartment, looking towards the extinct volcanic cone of Mt Eden – at different times of the day and the year. Inspired by yesterday's clouds, here then is my celebration of Auckland’s weather.

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