Blizzard kills 200 cows on NZ West Coast

Weather “unlike anything to have hit the region before”.

“Last week’s “blizzard-like” cold snap has killed more than 200 cows on farms on the West Coast of the South Island,” says this article in the New Zealand Herald.

What does “blizzard-like” mean? I wonder. Is that a way of avoiding saying that it was indeed a blizzard? (The original title of this article was “Cold snap kills 200 cows on West Coast.)

“WeatherWatch said the wind chill made it feel as cold as -15C in some places, in weather described as “unlike anything to have hit the region before”.

“It was a howling easterly over here with horizontal ice pellets – it wasn’t hail, it was different than hail – it wasn’t sleet, it wasn’t rain. There were trees blown on the road and you couldn’t hardly stand up,” said Federated Farmers’ West Coast president Katie Milne.

In spite of heroic efforts by farm staff, neighbors and veterinarians, they were unable to move the stock to shelter. “When the cows were exposed to freezing conditions, they huddled together, turned their backs to the wind, and would not move.”

“The few that were persuaded to move were the ones that were saved; the cows that obeyed their instincts and refused to budge were the ones that died.”

Weatherwatch analyst Phillip Duncan said the “brutal” wind chill continued in some parts of the South Island yesterday.

Thanks to Marc Morano for this link

10 thoughts on “Blizzard kills 200 cows on NZ West Coast”

    • There’s wind in the great white north,that’s for sure,especially n.e. Winds off the great lakes in the winter from colorado low pressure sweeping in cause awesome storms. East coast of canada also get hit by hurricanes,nova scotia has been hit by category 1 to 3 storms in the past decade!

    • Why does it matter? I am sure a storm was forecast for the region, but that doesn’t mean the severity of the storm is known. When I lived in Maine, we had a winter storm forecast as a light dusting, perhaps an inch. 36 hours and about 60 inches of snow later, the light dusting finally stopped. That was in the 60’s, and I am sure it was caused by global warming, only we didn’t know it at the time.

      • yes I have heard of over acheaving storms,and yes it matters to me! reason being is a post that I read on this website a few days ago,piers corbyn is forecasting a little ice age,and he said the meteorologist will have difficulty forcasting 2 or 3 days out he said the traditional way of forcasting want do them much good in a chaotic transition in to a new little ice age. not exactly word for word! but close enough.

  1. Isn’t it winter down there by now? That would make it an unusual winter storm but not as unusual as if it were summer.

  2. It is winter here in NZ but the prevailing winds generally mean that the West Coast is by and large protected by the howling southerlies.

    This was extreme for the West Coast which usually experiences Rain, rather than snow which is what they got.

    Im in the top part of the South Island and we got 746mm of rain in our valley on the same day that these folks further down got their extreme temp.

    Usual winter temp is around 3 – 5 oC. Wind Chill never makes it past -5.

    The storms down here are getting bigger and bigger each year as they head up from Antarctica.

  3. not a mention of it in aus msms..
    aus copped huge storms on the WA side here late last week, nasty damge two storms, 1st the worst.

Comments are closed.