Fore­cast a shell shock


Alf Hoyle reck­ons we’re in for poor weather this sum­mer - but he’s just the mes­sen­ger.

The weather fore­cast comes from Ro­torua’s Her­man the Tor­toise, who emerged from her win­ter hi­ber­na­tion five days late this year.

It’s a bad sign for the re­gion, ac­cord­ing to Hoyle.

‘‘Nor­mally if she’s up late it doesn’t mean we’re in for a good sum­mer,’’ he said.

Hoyle has had Her­man - named be­fore her gen­der was known - for more than 50 years and he said she’s usu­ally proved to be spot on at fore­cast­ing.

‘‘It’s funny how ac­cu­rate she’s been through the years,’’ he said.

‘‘She woke up to some hor­ri­ble weather.’’

Hoyle said Her­man is tak­ing it slow at the mo­ment as she needs to spend some time in the sun to heat up.

‘‘She’ll walk around look­ing mis­er­able un­til she warms up. It’s just got to hap­pen nat­u­rally,’’ he said.

‘‘She can’t get her so­lar pan­els work­ing.’’

Hoyle said Her­man usu­ally goes back into hi­ber­na­tion on April 4, with the ex­act date pro­vid­ing a fore­cast for the weather over win­ter.

‘‘It usu­ally means at the end of sum­mer we look at each other and say that wasn’t much of a sum­mer.’’


Her­man comes out of her shell.

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