With cyclone Gita and a rash of wild weather dominating this week's headlines, one could be forgiven for forgetting about the approaching Super Rugby storm.
The New Zealand sides kick off their campaign's this weekend and rugby reporter Joe Porter runs his eye over the contenders and pretenders to the Crusaders' throne.
Super Rugby's most successful team the Crusaders, hadn't tasted success in eight years.
Enter new coach Scott Robertson, and they were back at the top of the pile.
"One thing I really wanted to do last year, and which we did, was to win back the hearts and minds of our people on and off the field. They filled our stadium up three times, the crowds, the season ticket holder numbers are up this year so that's the direct line to know we're going all right," Robertson said.
And for the defending champions, Robertson said the goal is simple.
"Oh a few coaches have backed it up (won back to back titles) and I guess your mindset has to be that way. I've got a great squad and a good group of guys who are really keen, passionate, love what they do and they loved what they did last year and we'd love to do it again. Those memories that you make are for life and it's going to be another special season again."
Robertson and the Crusaders take on the Chiefs in Christchurch on Saturday night, with the visitors one of just four teams to win consecutive Super Rugby crowns.
Winners in 2012 and 13, the Chiefs face a walk into the unknown this season with a new head coach in Colin Cooper and a several senior players missing.
Gone is All Blacks first-five Aaron Cruden, thrusting fullback Damian McKenzie into the playmakers role.
The All Blacks want him there as well and a lot of the Chiefs' success will hinge on how McKenzie adjusts.
Cooper concedes he's not an international pivot just yet.
"It will take time for Damian but he's just got to keep playing there. He wants to play at 10, I want him to play at 10, so hopefully that goes well," Cooper said.
The 2016 champions the Hurricanes are joint favourites with the Crusaders.
Departing coach Chris Boyd is desperate to go out a winner, while wing Julian Savea is desperate to force his way back into the All Blacks.
They're in Pretoria this weekend to open their season against the Bulls.
For the Blues, you have to look back 15 years to find anything rosy.
Their last title was in 2003 and they've been the last placed New Zealand side since 2014.
Captain Augustine Pulu said this year, it's finals or bust.
"The plan is to win this (Super Rugby) and to be the best team in New Zealand. The coaches have put a really good plan from off-season in place and we'll follow it and adjust a few things and we're heading in the right direction."
To be the best you have to beat the best and the first of those New Zealand derbies is tonight, with the Blues taking on the Highlanders and their new coach Aaron Mauger in Dunedin.
"Our All Black players who have played test matches at the highest intensity, they talk about the derby games being just as tough if not tougher sometimes. Obviously we're competing team vs team but also the players have the extra motivation of outplaying their opposites as they compete for spots in the All Blacks as well," Mauger said.
Once a team of also-rans the Southerners won their maiden title in 2015 and reached the playoffs in the two seasons since and Mauger said the external and internal expectations have risen significantly.
"The last four or five years changed the line of expectation for us, we're not just a team that's happy to finish there or thereabouts around playoff time, we have an expectation that we can go deep into the season and give ourselves a chance of being there at the very end."
If Mauger and the Highlanders are to fulfil those dreams, they must start by beating the Blues tonight.