– It’s mainly westerlies and front after front for the start of August
– Coldest part of the year “most likely behind us”
+ July: frosty in the south, wet & warm in the north
This is supposed to be the coldest time of the year but for many it’s as warm as the middle of spring. Temperatures in northern regions and even some southern places, such as Canterbury, have reached temperatures in the upper teens and the next week looks like more of the same.
The Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan says this is because of a change in the weather pattern bringing warmer westerlies. “We’re now seeing a weather pattern quite similar to spring with strong westerlies off and on over the country. This means more showery weather in western regions and dry warm weather in the east”.
Duncan says the 10 day outlook provided by weather.com shows winds swinging from north west to south west winds for most of New Zealand. He says that indicates a number of fast moving fronts moving across New Zealand.
July is the coldest month of the year however early August can also bring very cold weather. While there are no guarantees, Mr Duncan says the coldest part of the year is now most likely behind us. “We’re now getting more than half an hour of sunlight a day which marks the end of the solar winter. That means temperatures will now start to creep up a little, but obviously severe cold outbreaks are possibly right up until November”. The official end of winter in New Zealand is August 31st.
Duncan says July has really been North verses South weather-wise. “The South’s weather was influenced by a large stubborn anticyclone while the North was exposed to seven different deep lows which brought plenty of unstable weather resulting in tornadoes, thunderstorms, hail, torrential rain and severe gales but it did mean very few frosts”.
Devastating tornadoes hit New Plymouth, Auckland and Tauranga, winds of 200km/h roared across Northland and Coromandel Peninsular with a months rainfall falling in the north in just a day. Winds knocked power out to some Auckland residents for a week. Droughts turned quickly into floods for Hawke’s Bay from that same system.
Arctic air trapped under a large high in the South Island meant weeks of back to back frosts and highs in Central Otago lucky to make it over zero degrees. And the most recent storm brought flash and surface flooding to the Hauraki Plains, Christchurch and Dunedin, and the east coasts of both islands have seen temperatures touch 20 degrees thanks to dry westerlies – at what is typically the coldest time of the year.
WEATHER NEWS HEADLINES:
– A weak front will be rain or showers to western areas tomorrow night.
– Westerlies forecast for 10 days for most places…that means temperatures back into the late teens for the eastern coasts.