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Winter 2022 the warmest and wettest since records began


Winter 2022 the warmest and wettest since records began

Sep 3 2022

A bomber’s 18-year reign of terror, and the brother who turned him in

Ted Kaczynski following his arrest in 1996

It’s a slow news day, so I’m taking the opportunity of some downtime – and my colleague Stewart Sowman-Lund leaving me the keys to live updates – to recommend a podcast I’ve been engrossed by in recent weeks.

The eight-part Project Unabom traces the decades-long hunt for the US domestic terrorist known as the Unabomber (the name is derived from the FBI’s case identifier, standing for University and Airline Bomber), who killed three people and injured 23 others in a nationwide bombing campaign between 1978 and 1995.

Project Unabom is an Apple Original podcast, and it comes with all the high production values that label suggests. Host Eric Benson, a journalist, meticulously traces dual storylines: that of Ted Kaczynski and his descent into violence, fuelled by his intense anti-technology beliefs; and the story of how law enforcement repeatedly blew chances to apprehend him, before a lucky break finally led them to Kaczynski’s wood cabin in remotest Montana.

Ted Kaczynski following his arrest in 1996

The surprising thing about Project Unabom is how moving it often is. That’s due to the participation and insight of Ted’s younger brother David Kaczynski, who grew up idolising Ted and continued to try to keep a connection with him as Ted grew increasingly unhinged and reclusive. Famously, David was the one who ultimately turned Ted in, and the ramifications of that decision have continued to weigh heavily on David through the years.

The story of Ted, David and their long-suffering parents is uniquely tragic, but it’s one that will likely resonate with listeners who have a family member struggling with mental illness or self-destructive tendencies. It’s also just a really gripping true crime story.

Listen to Project Unabom here or wherever you get your podcasts. Also recommended: Why Right-Wing Extremists Love the Unabomber, a fascinating essay on the Lawfare blog.

Winter 2022 the warmest and wettest on record

Nelson’s Maitai river after it burst its banks on August 18, 2022. (Photo: CHRIS SYMES/AFP via Getty Images)

For the third year running, this year saw the warmest winter temperatures since records began, according to new seasonal stats released by the National Institute of Weather and Atmospheric Research, NIWA.

The nationwide average temperature was 9.8°C, higher than the record set in 2021 and 1.4°C above the 1981-2010 average.

Of the 10 warmest winters on record, six have occurred since 2013. In line with the overall national record, 50 locations experienced record warm temperatures and a further 33 locations experienced near-record warmth, NIWA said.

Temperatures were well above average for the North Island as well as parts of the West Coast, Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough and Canterbury. Temperatures were generally above average for the remainder of the of the South Island with small pockets of near-average temperatures in Otago and Southland. No areas experienced below average temperatures.

Winter 2022 was also our wettest since official rainfall records began in 1971. Eighteen locations experienced their wettest winter on record and a further 24 locations had a near-record wet winter.

Further highlights for winter 2022:

  • The highest temperature was 24.3°C, observed at Wairoa on 20 August.
  • The lowest temperature was -11.6°C, observed at Aoraki/Mt Cook Airport on 17 July.
  • The highest 1-day rainfall was 371 mm, recorded at Aoraki/Mt Cook Village on 18 July.
  • The highest wind gust was 198 km/h, observed at Cape Turnagain on 9 July.
  • Of the available, regularly reporting sunshine observation sites, the sunniest four regions in 2022 so far are Taranaki (1701 hours), Bay of Plenty (1675 hours), Greater Nelson (1621 hours) and Auckland (1564 hours).
  • Of the six main centres, Auckland was the warmest, Tauranga was the sunniest, Christchurch was the coolest, Dunedin was the driest and Wellington was the wettest and least sunny.