An ‘early spring’ storm is boosting temperatures into the mid 20s at what should be the coldest time of the year historically says WeatherWatch.co.nz.
In the past hour (2pm Saturday) the strong nor’wester has pushed Kaikoura to 24 degrees while parts of Canterbury, Hawkes Bay and Auckland are in the low 20s. While nature has confirmed we have an early spring this year, the calendars put us at a time that should be reflecting mid-winter cold.
Cooler air has started to move into Southland and Otago and Sunday and Monday will be significantly cooler than today – but Saturday and Saturday night will be warm for many New Zealand centres, especially in the North Island.
“This is an incredibly warm spell for early August but not surprising to WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters after a record breaking warm June and plenty of mild westerlies expected this month” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
He says July was closer to average temperatures due to more southerlies blowing in cold air from the Southern Ocean, as opposed to more northerlies in June that fed mild air from the sub-tropics over the country.
The warmer winds have made for a dramatic change in just the past week or so. “A week ago people from Southland to Waikato were waking up to temperatures as low as minus four, this morning most woke up to temperatures 15 to 20 degrees warmer”.
Even Auckland was around 18 degrees warmer this Saturday morning compared to last Saturday morning.
As expected by WeatherWatch.co.nz the bulk of the gales today are through inland, more rural, parts of the South Island like inland and north Canterbury. However winds are likely to rise further this afternoon in Wellington but WeatherWatch.co.nz doesn’t expect too many serious problems at this stage. The worst of the winds will be in exposed areas around mountains and ranges.
The windy weather will ease gradually across Sunday as a band of rain moves over the North Island.
Sunday will be warm for many northern parts of New Zealand but cooler air will spread across the South Island for Sunday and into the North Island on Monday.
Warmer spring-like westerlies return again to the nation around Wednesday.