As summer spluttered along for many regions back in January there was a comment that kept popping up: “is this Autumn already?”.
The simple answer was always “no, spring hasn’t finished!”. We’ve finally seen that spring pattern relax now that we’re in February, although the southerly changes are still blowing in about once a week – but they are nothing like the ones earlier this season that produced mid-summer frosts, snow on the ranges and hail.
As we head in towards March the word “autumn” will be used a lot. Autumn officially kicks off on the first of March in New Zealand and Australia but the weather will lag this year – summer conditions will extend well into the month for many regions.
This is due to the placement of the highs – which are more often cutting off the Southern Ocean storms and now seem to be crossing all of the country and not just narrow sections.
Meanwhile the sub-tropics look very active for the next few weeks – with weak lows hanging around northern New Zealand driving in more easterlies, cloud, humidity and the odd shower.
March won’t be perfectly settled – in fact we expect the Southern Ocean to begin to wake back up again (it barely even had an afternoon nap) and the tropics are now peaking in activity – but we do see summer-like weather continuing on for many places once March kicks off. Although day one of March may be unsettled with a cooler south west flow for some in the south!
– Column by head weather analyst Philip Duncan
– Image / File uploaded via our free mobile app / Roderick Davison
on 23/02/2014 8:59pm
The prediction of summer lasting into March is scary for us rural types in the Waikato… Realistically, is there some moisture up there that’s going to get us some grass before it’s too cold to grow??!!!
on 24/02/2014 12:00am
Most of the current data we have shows fairly dry conditions through till the 6th or perhaps even the 10th March. These are long range models though and are likely to change a bit.
There are hints of a tropical low on the 7th March so that looks like our best bet so far for some resonable rain.