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What has happened to summer?

From Auckland to Dunedin to Southland people are writing in to asking “What has happened to summer” following two fairly average to below average weeks of weather.

For western and southern parts of both islands the weather has been changeable recently.  Wellington has had one day of gales, or near gales, just about every week since the start of spring.

However further south it’s the cold that’s taking the charm off these summer months.  While hotter days are going to start pushing into Southland and Otago now, they will still be mixed in with a few spring-like southerlies.

This colder weather across New Zealand is being caused by a lack of big protecting highs over us – instead most of the highs are remaining anchored over Australia.

Dunedin’s high today and Tuesday is just 14 degrees…however by Wednesday 23 degreees is the high under mostly sunny skies.  Then back to 14 by Friday with showers and 20 and mostly sunny by Saturday.  This is a step up from the mostly low to mid-teen highs of late.

Christchurch too is getting changeable temperatures but appears to be overall warmer and drier than other south Island places.  Christchurch may only get to 17 today but 27 is expected by Thursday, 16 Friday then 23 Saturday.

Wellington still has more windy weather to contend with – although hopefully the intensity continues to ease with each week. Across this week we see a spring-like pattern of northerlies and southerlies in the capital.

Aucklanders have been wondering ‘where did summer go?’ now that 2014 has arrived.  When record breaking heat arrived in late November some thought that was a signal towards an extra hot summer.  However our concerns this summer have been to do with lack of rain in some areas not excessive heat.

Auckland doesn’t have a lot of rain in the forecast over the next 10 days, but neither does it have a lot of glorious clear sky days, thanks to the sometimes cloudy flow out of the Tasman Sea.  Both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend were cloudier and cooler than expected due to ‘anticyclonic gloom’ which spread into many western regions of the North Island (low cloud trapped under a high). It lowered temperatures and made for a few drizzle patches.

This week, while the weather is still changeable, we do see a large high pressure system aiming towards the country, especially the north.  The coming weekend looks settled in many of the main centres but winds may again blow through the capital while showers move into southern areas.

Of course not everyone is having a gloomy summer – many eastern and northern areas of both islands are enjoying many hot, sunny, days.

– Image / Maketu Garith Farr

– By head weather analyst Philip Duncan,


Derek on 13/01/2014 12:03am

Hey WW there is a place further north of Auckland called Northland, just about the most beautiful part of NZ so how come we do not figure in this article?   🙂

Up here in Whangarei it has been similar to Auckland, actually a few mornings have had that autumnal feel to them already. Our temps have also dropped, especially during the night, and we have been cursed by cool afternoon winds. Almost going to restart the central heating as quite cool around 6-7am.

Think spring was more settled and summery than now. Hope we soon switch to some summer weather as we are already in second month. 

WW Forecast Team on 13/01/2014 12:19am

Hi Derek – we never forget Northland!  But we are hearing more positive reviews than negative for summer so far from your neck of the woods which is why we didn’t include you in this story 🙂  Sounds like everyone is waking up to cool mornings – but the heat seems better in the north and north east of both islands.    Looking more settled for you for second half of Jan, however you might get some easterlies forming too.

Thanks for the update, as always, from your part of the world!


Derek on 13/01/2014 4:37am

Thanks Phil, just having a go as generally in the press poor Northland always takes second place or no place at all, gets a bit annoying at times. 

Generally we have been warmer for sure.

Guest on 12/01/2014 7:41pm

I live in Auckland and this change ti summer has turned out much better for me!

The 3rd and 4th of Jan were far too hot in Aucjkland (26 degrees), keep it cooler i say, with 23 degree maximums.


Guest on 12/01/2014 8:21pm

You won’t win too many friends with that comment.  Might I suggest a  move to Invercargill for you?

Guest on 12/01/2014 10:53pm

Not all of as like summertime,and i would move invercargill but there are no jobs for me.

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