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Winter’s warning shot, now what lies ahead?

It may be still Autumn but winter fired a warning shot across New Zealand on Monday and Tuesday – and it could be a hint of things to come this winter. head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the current weather pattern around New Zealand is a chaotic and messy one.  “Many people hear of weather terms like El Nino and La Nino and both often create strong and more predictable weather patterns.  The weather pattern New Zealand has been in since 2011 is a chaotic one that can see anything happen”.

Mr Duncan says the 2011 chaotic pattern saw a high over Tasmania in August of that year couple up with a low south east of Dunedin, creating a wintry blast that saw light snow falling in downtown Auckland.

On Tuesday Aucklanders shivered at what is normally the hottest time of the day – early to mid afternoon – when the mercury tumbled to just 6 degrees with passing rain and hail showers.  The wind chill wasn’t severe in Auckland but the dampness that northern regions have over southern ones can make for colder, damper, homes which are harder to warm up.

“This cold snap, just weeks after the worst drought in 50 years ended, might help explain why we call this pattern a ‘chaotic’ one…anything can happen”.

Mr Duncan says this same pattern will remain across winter meaning more variety in the weather.  “We are likely to see a variety of weather this winter and forecasters may struggle to accurately go beyond a few weeks with their long term predictions because of this”.

Last winter no major snow storm affected the entire nation, instead severe weather in 2012 was often in isolated parts of the country.

The weather events so far this year seem to be more widespread – from the droughts to this nationwide cold snap.

If you’re not a fan of the cold, don’t worry – warmer weather returns by Friday or the weekend for most regions.

– Homepage image / File, Malcolm Gayfer



Andrew on 30/05/2013 1:46am

Where has that group gone that wants seasons to start later?

WW Forecast Team on 30/05/2013 2:00am

Just look for them tomorrow after 7am as our lead story starts with "Winter officially starts this weekend…" – that line usually sparks up the debate! 

Personally I think if we were to truly debate this, people might not like the findings – as our winter and summer months, in my view, only last 2 months each.  Winter is June and July, summer is Jan and Feb.  The other 8 months are spring and autumn.  🙂

Philip Duncan.

p.s  I support the status quo as I can’t in a million years accept that Spring starts in late September, when Mother Nature kicks it off as early as late July with lambs, buds and daffodils – hard to then argue winter goes for another 2 more months!

sw on 29/05/2013 11:28pm

The models indicate more of the same next week too,Windy cloudy wet southwesterlies for north of taranaki,rain on the westcoast,plenty of showers from sunday onwards,fine in BOP,all the east and Wellington again.

Guest on 29/05/2013 10:08pm

I hear there was snow on Pirongia Mountain on Tuesday night?

Melanie on 30/05/2013 12:36am

Yes there was a light dusting of snow on Pirongia on Tuesday that stayed all day and still there the next day – has gone now.

Guest on 29/05/2013 8:19pm

The more unpredictable, the more interesting the winter will be.

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