Lightning Destroyed the Zephyrometer in a Fireball Yesterday

The New Zealand capital's famed Zephyrometer, a weathery sculpture that stands a little over 100 feet tall, met its demise after a thunderstorm struck Wellington on Thursday and a bolt of lightning destroyed the sculpture in a fireball, hurling its fiery remains onto the street below.

According to its Wikipedia page, the 11-year-old sculpture told passers-by the speed and direction of the wind, essentially making it a fancy weather vane. The fiberglass Zephyrometer, which derives its name from the word "zephyr," meaning a "very slight or gentle wind," didn't stand a chance when the bolt of lightning knocked the wind out of it.

AccuWeather reports that the storm also produced 62 MPH winds at the city's airport around the time the installation got fried. As the northern hemisphere makes its slow transition from summer to fall, the southern hemisphere is making the volatile switch from winter to spring.

From one Vane to another: so long, Zephyrometer.

[Image of the Zephyrometer in happier times by Keith Miller via Flickr]