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BLOG : Weekend – Will That Wind Finally Go?

By Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan

I am well and truly officially over the wind!  Those of you in Wellington will be rolling your eyes and telling this “Aucklander” to toughen up but it’s doing my head in!  It’s cold, it’s full of showers and it’s stopped me enjoying a fine glass of wine out on my deck (which faces north west!).

Photo:  A New Zealand flag in Papakura being blown about during a squall on Tuesday.  Photo by Weather Watch contributor Foehn Mackenzie.

The daytime sun heats up the house nicely but when I open the windows to air it out the doors all slam shut, freaking the animals out – and my heart – and the temperature plummets 20 degrees I’m sure!

Now I don’t know what it is about Wellington – you get accustomed to that wind (which really isn’t as bad as it’s reputation).  I lived in Wellington for half a year in the 90s and it was from late Winter to early Summer – what I dubbed the “windier” season!  I didn’t mind it…you dress for it, work is close to the train or the car park or the bus stop…and if you plan your day properly you can survive in Wellington without caring too much about the weather.

In Auckland it’s another story.  I’m sorry Aucklanders, but some of us are a little soft!   After 2 years living in Taupo I moved to Auckland in 2000 and thought it was tropical.  Now 8 years later I’ve softened up…and I think I’ve figured out why…and I maybe I’ll be unpopular here…but do Aucklanders think that they live in the tropics?  My Canadian cousins comment on this all the time…while we have mild winters compared to Canada our homes are mostly freezing cold.  We have some homes with no insulation…we open our windows and doors in the middle of winter…and I know people who don’t use heaters or light their fires because they consider it ‘wasteful’. 

Perhaps it’s this belief that we live in the “sub-tropical north” that prevents us from dressing warmly.  In Wellington everyone wears jackets and trenchcoats … in Auckland you’ll look arrestable wearing a trenchcoat!  Instead, if you’re a male, shirts and possible a suit jacket is considered your “winter wear”. You see men with their hands deep in the pockets, arms close to their waist, as the dart across the street during a squall trying to look as if they’re fine.

So here we are in Spring having a little reminder that winter has only just ended… and I’m cold!  It was 17 degrees yesterday in Auckland…that isn’t cold…but the wind sure was.

The good news is that a large high is moving in this weekend and will considerably kill those strong winds – from about Canterbury northwards.  Sunday is looking especially settled over much of the country and possibly lingering into early next week for northern regions.

Maybe our weather analyst Richard Green – who’s based in Christchurch – would like to comment on this blog!    And if you have a thought – post it too!  Are you sick of this wind where you’re living?  Do you think NZers in northern parts think they live in the sub-tropics?  Do you consider Auckland northwards ‘tropical’?

Well, I can always sit in a sunny room with that glass of wine – might just do that this evening!  Have a great weekend!


SW on 11/10/2008 2:50am

Today in the tropical north its Gusting Gale Force,fresh to strong other times as its continuous (SW Direction) with total Cloud cover and intermittent Drizzle.Max 15/16c.

Föehn on 10/10/2008 12:45am

"You see men with their hands deep in the pockets," They can’t be lawyers then, unless it’s other people’s pockets! :))  But seriously. Our place is surrounded by well established big trees, and because of this, it creates a nice little ecoclimate which has fooled me many times into believing the day is warm, there is no wind and it’s an altogether lovely day. So, I set forth without coat, hat or umbrella, only to find that less than a kilometre away the wind is blasting in from the south, it’s pouring with rain, and there are icicles forming on the windscreen. (Well not quite but you get the picture). I’m sure that Auckland has lots of little warm spots like this. I also think that our weather can change very rapidly. It can be really mild first thing with the promise of a hot day, only to turn really nasty by mid morning and leave one shivering over the office heater for the rest of the day because one has dressed for that promised day.

SW on 9/10/2008 8:08pm

Aucklands not tropical or most of the year even subtropical,It would be sub tropical from late Dec to April but the rest of the year often just Wet and Windy.It would be subtropical if it didnt “go SW winds” every time theres an approaching high pressure unlike eg Australia being a continent the westerly belt gets shunted underneath the continent.

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