Today marks the end of the Solar Winter in the southern hemisphere – the 3 months with the least amount of sunlight. The Solar Winter starts 6 weeks before the shortest day and ends 6 weeks after it’s been, bringing us 3 months of low solar energy and shorter, colder, days.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says most places are now getting more than half an hour of extra sunlight during the day than 6 weeks ago.
To create a stronger feeling of winter ending a firm spring-like weather pattern is now in place bringing warmer weather to many regions especially in the east and north. WeatherWatch.co.nz says there’s no immediate end in sight for the unsettled weather with at least 7 to 10 days of the current pattern continuing.
But while the Solar Winter has come to to an end the true winter has not. Whether you believe winter ends on August 31st of September 21st either way cold snaps bringing snow to low levels can continue as late in the year as November.
A cold snap may also be on the way later this week for the South Island as a large high to the east helps dredge up bitterly cold southerlies. However a sub-tropical low in the north may make it short lived with strong easterlies and rain possible for northern New Zealand later this week or in to the weekend.
Needless to say the unsettled weather pattern looks firmly in place for the start of August.