The first week of winter is behind us and it’s been a very warm week with highs in the low 20s and even a June heat record broken.
While records at Whitianga, in the eastern Coromandel Peninsula, only go back to 1990 their high of 22.4 on Sunday was their warmest ever, beating the previous June record of 20.9 set in June 2003.
According to our sources the highest June temperature ever recorded in New Zealand was 24.4 in Dargaville on June 8 1998, based on NIWA statistics.
Of the past seven days the national high has three times been in the 20s with the other four days either 17, 18 and 19 degrees.
The warmer than average weather is predicted to continue in many areas this week says WeatherWatch.co.nz, with overnight lows especially on the high side.
“This is due to the northerly stream of air over many areas” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan. “The reason it’s so warm is due to the incredible lack of weather systems coming from the south this year”.
He says most of the fronts that have passed New Zealand over the last two months have had connections with the sub-tropics in some way.
But the mild weather is about to come to an end – although it is unlikely to be for too long. “This coming weekend we’re going to see a change to cold south’westers right over the country by Sunday. It may bring snow into the North Island ski fields too”.
Mr Duncan says like previous southerly changes this year the worst of the wintry weather will miss New Zealand due to a large high over southern Australia. “The high will help produce this cold change but will also somewhat soften the blow to NZ, by pushing the worst of the weather out east over the Chatham Islands and Pacific Ocean”.
Image — The weather map for Saturday June 18th shows another sub-tropical low bringing rain and warm weather to the country / Weathermap.co.nz
“We think on Wednesday conditions may turn more southerly, so for those who are missing the wintry weather they should get a taste of it sometime between this Sunday and next Thursday”.
But long range models are already indicating the wintry change may be short lived with subtropical conditions moving back in the weekend after. “Our long range data shows good potential for yet another sub-tropical low forming off the Australian coastline, possibly with NZ in its sights for next weekend (June 18/19)”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says long range maps beyond 10 days can be fairly unreliable however so far this year many have proven pretty accurate at picking large level highs and lows around Australasia.