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Warm, strong, norwester sees overnight lows rocket
Is Winter now over?!


Finally after a month of overnight lows close to minus 10 and daytime highs lucky to break the zero degree mark, the South Island is being treated to much warmer weather.
The Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan says that’s due to some strong winds.  “A large high to the north and a deep low south of the country is creating some strong westerlies across bottom half of the country”. 
Duncan says overnight lows dipped only to around 9 or 10 degrees in central otago, about 20 degrees warmer than the coldest nights recently. 
He says Stewart Island and coastal Southland have been hammered by winds gusting to 115km/h.
“It’s looking like a frost free week and weekend for the South Island”. is predicting milder temperatures until Sunday.
And our South Island weather analyst says the windy weather isn’t good for ski field operators.  Richard Green says many skifields in the South are either closed or on hold. 
Green says temperatures in and around Christchurch has soared this morning.  “It’s currently 15 degrees in Lyttleton and 14 in Christchurch itself”.  He says those in Central Otago must be thinking Spring has come early.
So is winter over?  Yes and no according Philip Duncan.  “I would say we’ve probably seen the coldest temperatures of the year now and the daytime highs appear to be lifting somewhat in the North, but we have a very long way to go yet”. 
He says the days are becoming longer, most noticeably in the evening, and that increased sunlight is starting to warm things up a little.  “But severe snow storms and heavy frosts are possible well into August and September”.  In fact is predicting severe frosts to return next week to Central Otago.
– Central Otago will see highs back into double digits this weekend before colder weather arrives next week.
– Heavy rain on the way for the West Coast of the South Island today and again on Friday/Saturday.
– More dry, sunny, weather for Northland this week.  Showers, if any at all, will be very light and short lived.
– Hawke’s Bay will be basking in a high today of up to 18 degrees thanks to the nor’wester.



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