It may technically still be Autumn, but the ‘Solar Winter’ started May 11 in New Zealand (and the Southern Hemisphere).
The Solar Winter is the quarter of the year (3 months) with the least amount of available sunlight. In other words, our shortest days and longest nights of the year are now with us until early August. Some people love this time of year, others miss the long, brighter, days of summer.
The coldest air for NZ usually peaks in July, August and sometimes September (especially further south).
Solar Winter is measured 6 weeks either side of the Winter Solstice, or ‘shortest day’ of the year, which this year is on June 21 (at precisely 9:13pm). The specific date/time of the shortest day moves around a little every year, but is usually around June 21/22.
Coincidentally, WeatherWatch.co.nz was forecasting last night/this morning (May 12) to be the coldest of the year so far for Auckland and other northern parts of NZ, after an incredibly warm run of weather recently and so far this year. Thursday night/Friday morning will be cold too, with temperatures below average in the North Island. A milder weekend is forecast with overnight lows jumping 10 degrees on where they will be tonight.