Frosty start to belated winter

By Mike Dinsdale

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The field at Raurimu Ave Primary School, in Onerahi, was covered in ice yesterday as the temperatures dropped to an official low of 0.5C in Kaitaia.
The field at Raurimu Ave Primary School, in Onerahi, was covered in ice yesterday as the temperatures dropped to an official low of 0.5C in Kaitaia.

Winter has finally arrived with frost across Northland over the weekend and the official low across the region of 0.5C in Kaitaia.

But the good news - if you can call it that - is that the mercury won't fall as low as that again in Northland for at least another week, mainly because rain and clouds are on the way.

MetService meteorologist Peter Little said a slow-moving southerly had crept up the country over the weekend, bringing the coldest temperatures of the year so far across New Zealand, with an official low of -5C at Timaru.

Mr Little said after an unseasonably warm May and June, winter finally hit Northland too, with the overnight low on Friday/Saturday at Kaitaia hitting 0.3C, while the low in the town rose to a "not that much more palatable" 2.5C overnight Saturday/yesterday.

Whangarei had an overnight low on Friday/Saturday of 2.3C and a low overnight Saturday/yesterday of 1.3C.

Kerikeri's low overnight Friday/Saturday was 1.7C, but it dropped lower overnight Saturday/yesterday to 1.3C.

The temperatures are likely to have been even lower elsewhere in Northland.

Despite the lows, Whangarei was the second warmest place in the country on Saturday at 15.3C and reached 15.2C yesterday.

This car in Riverside, Whangarei was one of many touched by Jack Frost's icy fingers yesterday morning.
This car in Riverside, Whangarei was one of many touched by Jack Frost's icy fingers yesterday morning.

Mr Little said rain and wind forecast for the next few days - including possibly heavy rain and northeasterly gales on Thursday - would stop the temperatures dropping as low again for a while.

"Rain and cloud act as a bit of a blanket and will lift the temperatures up. The clear nights you've been having let the heat from the land to radiate into space, and that's led to the chilly mornings and frost."

- Northern Advocate

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