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A few centres were freezing this morning and moreso on the eastern part of New Zealand but the night wasn’t as frosty as expected over many parts. With just 10 days until Spring officially gets underway, the first glimpses of milder days are showing today but a string of warmer weather isn’t necessarily on the cards for some.

Winds coming up from the westerly direction kept the thermometers just a tad warmer than expected overnight, particularly in western areas. Although generally light in nature, it stopped a number of frosts from forming to any great degree and Cape Reinga didn’t see the temperature drop into single figures at all. The upper north had a few showers dotted around here and there and that seems to be the state of play today for many areas today, vulnerable to a moist westerly airflow.

Temperatures are on the up in most places with 13 to 16 degree highs expected throughout most of the North Island and mainlanders don’t miss out either, with most folk expected to hit double digits, which has been a rare event in recent weeks.

Snow affected areas may see a thaw develop over the next day or two, as this next sytem moves in from the Tasman, bringing milder westerlies and then more moisture should arrive for many regions as of tomorrow and into the weekend, but freezing levels at most higher elevations are not too low initially.

Some skifields have had an abundance of snow recently, with Turoa having a base of more than 4.5 metres and Whakapapa just on 3.5 metres. Further south and a number of operators have commented that this has been the snowiest season in a number of years, with snow making machines being basically made redundant.

So overall today, a mix of cloud, some showers and some sunshine is how it’s shaping up, with any precipitation falling more on the western side of the nation. At least it shouldn’t feel as cold as the day progresses, with temperatures expected to be a little above average for this time of year for much of the country.

Weather analyst Richard Green


SW on 21/08/2008 4:21am

Spring doesn’t officially begin until the equinox on 23rd September when the sun is over the celestial equator.Well it doesn’t in Auckland anyway till it feels like it..
Same goes in March feeling like a summer month than autumn.

WW Forecast Team on 21/08/2008 5:32am

Hi SW – Always been an area of controversy in New Zealand.  According to the New Zealand Government, Spring "officially" starts on Sept 1st.  But most meteorologists I know tend go with the equinox like you…which certainly makes a lot more sense!

Mind you in northern New Zealand spring sometimes feels as if it arrives in August!


Philip Duncan

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