It’s a bit odd to be talking positively of pasture growth in the depths of winter but that may be the likely result of the incoming weather pattern as July shifts from a cold start to a milder middle.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says this weekend and next week temperatures in some regions will be several degrees above average both by day and by night. “This is due to sub-tropical and also Australian air flows” says head forecaster Philip Duncan. “This weekend a nor’east air flow from south of Fiji will be spreading over New Zealand. Next week we have west to north west winds from the Tasman Sea with Aussie connections. Either way the next week ahead looks warmer than it should be for this time of the year” says Mr Duncan.
Those in the east are likely to experience some of the sunniest, mildest weather with daytime highs in cities like Gisborne and Hastings potentially reaching 18 to 20 degrees. Many other main centres will be in the mid to upper teens.
Overnight lows will also jump to double digits, or the high single digits, for many North Island regions next week. In the South Island even Christchurch only has lows of 6 to 9 degrees from Sunday into the middle of next week while Dunedin is similar on 4 to 7 degrees. These are frost free temperatures.
Today (Wednesday July 11) will see a cold arriving later today/tonight in Southland and Otago. This will push snow up the Southern Alps and also see a frosty start tomorrow with overnight lows down to -4 or -5C tonight in parts of Otago. Milder air spreads in to these areas by the weekend and next week however the lower half of the South Island won’t be affected by the same mild air as those from Christchurch northwards will be.
Milder air flows coupled with sunny weather this week and again next week should see positive pasture growth nationwide. Sub-tropical rain this weekend will also help keep soil temperatures above average.