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Are we in for a late start to Summer?

A strengthening south to south west flow across New Zealand means Friday will be cooler and windier for many regions predicts

The southerly, which is being fueled by a small low south of New Zealand and a large high in the Tasman Sea, will push northwards throughout the day bringing windier and colder weather to a number of regions.  Warmest areas will be those in north facing regions such as Nelson and Bay of Plenty.

“It’s looking increasingly likely that our start to summer may be running a little late this year” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  “The pattern we’re in now looks likely to remain until the start of December and that means more westerlies, more cloud overall and these short lived cool southerlies”.

Mr Duncan says the current weather pattern feels more like El Nino than the current La Nina.  “La Nina’s often create humid, warm, nor’easters and El Nino’s tend to create more highs in the Tasman and that results in cloudier, cooler and windier weather – which is certainly what we have now”.

But Mr Duncan says regardless of the current weather patterns this is typical spring weather.  “One of the reasons some New Zealanders don’t like the early start dates for our seasons is because we typically get spring-like weather in December.  While it’s officially summer in New Zealand on December 1st, our northern hemisphere friends in the US and Canada won’t officially start winter for a further three weeks”.

A poll that ran in December last year showed 58% support for the December 1st start date while 42% preferred the Summer Solstice date on December 22nd, which matches the US and Canada. 



weather-nut on 17/11/2011 5:16pm

It’s true that many places in the world have indeed celebrated summer solstice as the first day of summer, although astrologically speaking, the term ‘midsummer’ also means summer solstice and ‘midwinter’ means winter solstice.

Perhaps this is why confused Americans will often refer to the summer solstice as the ‘official’ beginning of summer. However, like most meteorological and climatological organisations in the northern hemisphere, America’s National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) define summer as the first day of June through to the last day of August.

The old Roman calendar started the year on the first day of March, as this was considered the beginning of spring, with each season lasting three months. In 1780, the Societas Meteorologica Palatina, an early international organisation for meteorology, defined a season as being three whole months. Since that time, almost all western meteorologists have used that definition.

Paul Owen on 17/11/2011 7:16am

Why is everyone complaining? booo hooo we having a late summer, so what. Just like someone else said here, we had a late start to winter so it is only expected that we get a late start to summer.

Derek on 17/11/2011 3:50am

The current cool, windy cloudy weather is rotten, as one other writer said we were enjoying good warm weather this time last year.
Today by 1100am the temp on our patch in Whangarei was 21 deg, within a couple of hours cloud set in & temp dropped 5 deg. I am hating these cold winds from the south & the grey days that go with them. Quite depressing so hope it changes soon.
It is also very dry so need some good rain asap.

Guest on 17/11/2011 1:46am

I agree with the summer solstice on the 22 Dec , that is more of a accurate start to summer. I think the best , most warm and settled months in NZ are actually Feb , March and April. This current weather pattern we are having at the moment sucks big time! i remember the same time last year we were basking in the hot sun and swimming already!

sw on 17/11/2011 1:34am

We had late starts since autumn,autumn was late then winter didnt start proper till early july,now its spring with a late summer by the looks.

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