The Southern Ocean is producing some mammoth storms at the moment and WeatherWatch.co.nz’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan say it’s the most active it’s been so far this year.
“For much of 2011 the Southern Ocean has been fairly quiet but since our polar blast last Monday we’ve seen a significant step up in the size of the storms circling around Antarctica over the Southern Ocean” says Mr Duncan.
– Image / Very storm conditions currently south of Australia, but NZ remains protected by high air pressure…for now / GFS
“New Zealand is currently well protected from these storms by a high pressure buffer zone spreading over the country from the Tasman Sea but eventually the high pressure over us will weaken, allowing another one of these storms to hit us”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz told some of their clients last month that the first half of August would be mostly settled but that the second half of the month could be more vulnerable to stormier weather. In today’s New Zealand Herald NIWA made an identical prediction basically saying make the most of the settled weather as stormier conditions could arrive later in August.
While there are no guarantees some long range models do show our weather becoming more active later this month.
WeatherWatch.co.nz has maintained since Autumn that winter this year would, overall, be fairly short lived and “soft”. That certainly appears to be the case with spring like conditions already arriving.
Despite the cold snap in Canterbury last Monday Timaru took the national high three times last week, peaking at 19 degrees on Friday.
Yesterday Dunedin took the national high.
The conditions reflect more of an early spring pattern than that of the middle of winter says Philip Duncan.