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Solar Winter begins

Misty Winter Morning

The winter sun shining through the trees and mist – taken at the grounds of St. John of God hospital.  File photo / John Gaul NZTS.

While we’re still in Autumn the “Solar Winter” has just begun – the beginning of May marks the 3 months of the year with the shortest day lengths and therefore least amount of solar energy.

In the Southern Hemisphere the so called Solar Winter starts in early May and lasts until early August.

There’s a saying:  “As the days grow longer the cold grows stronger” which is certainly true, however the seas around New Zealand are still holding warmth from our hottest month – which is February and that was just 9 weeks ago.  

It’s this aqua warmth that helps keep our temperatures higher for a few more weeks. 

Of course, lately it’s felt as though winter has already arrived – and long range predictions by the Weather Watch Centre show next week may also have a cold snap with single digit highs again for the South Island and low teen highs for the North Island.

Today marks the start of some warmer weather though – winds from the northerly quarter will build over the next few days, with gales possible in central and eastern parts of New Zealand by the weekend.

In northern New Zealand these nor’westers will tap in to air that is in, or very near to, the sub-tropics – so daytime highs in the low 20s are possible this Saturday for some northern and eastern places.


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