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Hey New Zealand, a spring weather pattern is arriving

Despite the recent cold snaps NZ’s weather pattern is shifting to a spring one and that means more chaos and changeable weather – also more sunlight and warmth.

Since 2012 has been announcing spring earlier and earlier, in fact in the past two years it was in late July. But this year August finally woke up a traditional winter pattern so spring isn’t quite so early for 2019, but winter overall is shaping up to be another mild one.

What does look for in an early spring weather pattern?

  1. Temperatures are bouncing around. One day it’s warm, the next is cold. One night is frosty, the next is double digits. Fluctuating temperatures on a frequent basis is a sign we’re out of the depths of winter.
  2. More westerlies. As our weather pattern shifts and our days get longer we tend to get more westerly winds. These winds peak about one month from now but they have started in recent weeks.
  3. More warm days than cold. We have an uptick in mild days and nights, despite some of the coldest frosts of the year in recent nights. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen overnight lows lifting slowly in many regions with more double digit lows. August and July are the coldest months of the year but we can see a warming up from mid August onwards.
  4. Spring buds are showing and some are blooming already, a number of gardeners are telling us plants are in bloom or about to bloom early.

As weather forecasters we’re focused on spring weather patterns and it’s very important to note that spring is about life returning but it’s also known for sudden snow storms and big frosts – that is not an exclusive winter feature. In fact arguably early spring can bring some of the most challenging weather to our farmers and growers. But overall, we should see more pollen, more warmth and more westerlies in the weeks ahead. The astronomical start to spring isn’t until the end of September and is based around the earth’s rotation around the sun.

The days are also getting longer and in September we gain about an extra 20 minutes of daylight each and every week – that means more warmth entering our atmosphere and an extra hour of sunlight coming in across September.

By head forecaster Philip Duncan


Jim on 20/08/2019 4:56pm

” The astronomical start to spring isn’t until the end of September”

Actually, this year it is September 23rd (vernal equinox).

WW Forecast Team on 20/08/2019 9:26pm

Thanks Jim, was speaking very loosely with that “end of September” reference. Cheers for locking in the precise date.


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