The ‘Wanaka ef­fect’

Weather can’t touch sunny lit­tle basin

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

would have thought that af­ter all these years of col­lect­ing data weather fore­cast­ers would have suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence by now to prove the ex­is­tence of the ‘‘Wanaka ef­fect’’.

This is what hap­pens to bad weather which is on its way to Wanaka but more of­ten than not never makes it here.

I be­lieve the fore­cast­ers are cor­rect when the data they are view­ing shows a nasty storm head­ing our way.

Most of that bad weather does come close – we can see it buck­et­ing down in the moun­tains and we of­ten know they’re cop­ping it on the West Coast and over in Queen­stown.

How­ever, this amaz­ing lit­tle basin that we sit in seems to en­sure that weather of­ten goes around us.

I have been aware of the ‘‘Wanaka ef­fect’’ for many years now and Easter just gone was a per­fect ex­am­ple.

Aweek out fore­cast­ers were pre­dict­ing rain across the weekend with one show­ing heavy rain on all three days.

It was my first year in charge at War­birds Over Wanaka and if the fore­casts were true I would be pre­sid­ing over the first air­show in 25 years where fly­ing was not pos­si­ble.

As it turned out the weather was per­fect.

How­ever, the dam­age had been done and many po­ten­tial vis­i­tors made the de­ci­sion, based on those fore­casts, not to make the trip. That had eco­nomic im­pli­ca­tions across the re­gion.

So how many other vis­i­tors have been put off com­ing to Wanaka over the years be­cause they’ve taken a peek at the fore­cast aweek out?

I sug­gest that all long range fore­casts for bad weather in Wanaka should come with an ad­vi­sory – ‘‘be­cause of the me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal phe­nom­ena known as the ‘Wanaka ef­fect’ the crappy weather fore­cast for this weekend is no more likely to hap­pen than snow in May stay­ing’’. ● Ed Tay­lor is gen­eral man­ager of War­birds Over Wanaka and reck­ons Wanaka is the best place in the world to live.

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