The last few days have brought an unaccustomed summer heat to Wellington. Hot, sticky days and warm nights. This reminds me of Canterbury, in the South Island, where I spent a quarter of a century. I love being able to walk around saying: “Boy, it’s hot!”. This is all too rare for Wellington.
The biggest drawback is that my Powerbook keeps my lap very warm. But then, maybe it’s a good thing to go sit on the deck in the shade with a fiction book and a cool drink …
The fog — generated by a large slow moving mass of warm humid tropical air drifting over a cool sea — was a rare phenomenon, said MetService forecaster Mark Pascoe. It was more likely to happen in March than February and generally it did not hang around as long. It was rare for Wellington to have such a run of almost windless days.
… there was nothing practical that could be done to reduce the impact of fog on Wellington airport operations. While auto-landing systems were widely used throughout Europe to allow airlines to keep flying in these sorts of conditions, auto-landings were not a realistic option for Wellington.
They were hugely expensive, requiring a big investment in ground equipment, extra systems on aircraft and pilot training. And, the runway was too short — airports using auto-landing systems had to have much longer runways. [Stuff]
Overseas airports probably also don’t have sea at either end of that short runway, either. There’s not a lot of flat land in Wellington and the airport squeezes on to the peninsula. The thumbnail picture in this post links to a larger version.