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Your Thoughts: Is spring already here?

On paper we are in the absolute middle of winter…but according to Mother Nature – and many of you – spring is already here.

Winter can be defined as a season that brings death and decay to the wild – whereas spring brings new life.

Across New Zealand we are seeing “new life” and ‘positive’ growth rates.   A few pockets of farmers in the deep south have reported some July grass growth, while growers in northern New Zealand are saying buds are already out – although grass growth rates have recently been stopped due to frosts as far north as the ‘winterless north’.

Many of you wrote to us on Monday after Philip Duncan’s opinion piece on an early spring.  The majority of reports being that lambing and calving is now underway and buds and blooms are appearing. This isn’t usually how you’d describe the absolute depths of winter.

In an upcoming August edition of “Friends of WeatherWatch’ we interview Radio Sport host Martin Devlin.  We work in advance for this and today he replied to our 10 questions – we’ll share number nine with you today: “How are you finding winter so far this year?”  Devlin’s response: “Winter in Auckland lasts about a day and a half. Seriously, this aint cold”.

Long range forecasts show August is likely to start off fairly mild nationwide – with plenty of westerly quarter winds.

Don’t become complacent
Spring may be showing some firm early signs this year, but Winter weather is still with us – in fact even over the next 48 hours we have a cold southerly moving in with snow to a few hundred metres over the southern South Island and hail showers to sea level in a number of regions in both islands.  

Snow storms can pop up in August to sea level in New Zealand – and nationwide polar blasts can occur as late as October.

But when you’re in July mixing warm days with cold and then you add windier westerly weather, plant growth and animals being born…it is very hard to look at a calendar and say “yep, we still have two long months of winter left”.

So what are your thoughts? Is spring showing up where you live? Post a comment below!


– Images / File, Peter Shone


Claire on 28/07/2015 9:28pm

Given that an El Nino patterm appears to be establishing, what does that mean for spring? I’ve read that it suggests ot will be cold and stormy (which I am not particularly keen on!).

WW Forecast Team on 28/07/2015 10:52pm

Hi Claire, El Nino tends to amplify the spring weather – so the windy westerlies last longer and blow stronger.  As a result of that we tend to get drier, warmer, weather in the east and cooler, cloudier and sometimes wetter weather in the west.  May not mean colder or stormier – but usually windier …and due to NZ’s mountains/ranges this creates wetter than average weather on the west coast and drier than average weather to some pockets in the east.  One to watch – still too early to seriously lock in the risks.


Philip Duncan

Claire on 31/07/2015 6:31am

Thanks for the reply 🙂 I always struggle to work out what that means in terms of Auckland – we’re on the West of the North Island but East of all of the South Island.

Guest on 28/07/2015 3:31am


people lamb early these days to catch the early markets……..but not me its a stupid folly i say and you can get caught out

Dave on 28/07/2015 1:28am

It certainly has a feel of equinox about it with almost constant W or NW  winds. I am not so sure it feels springlike and as you say the plants will tell the story.

If spring does come early & this pattern continues our rural folk will be very happy I am sure.

One thing I have noticed actually is the speed of the highs & lows at the moment which naturally brings changing weather all the time. Maybe this is also a sign of spring, not sure? 

My own feeling is that we are experiencing the early effects of El Nino however you may disagree with that.

Cheers Dave

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