Weather: Summer will come, but is it too little, too late?

By Lincoln Tan

A storm was not quite what we expected for summer. Photo / Leamanu Ogden
A storm was not quite what we expected for summer. Photo / Leamanu Ogden

KEY POINTS

Summer may still be on the cards - but expect the cool temperatures to linger for at least a few more weeks.

Summer may still be on the cards - but expect the cool temperatures to linger for at least a few more weeks.

People wanting to lounge at the beach may have to put their plans on hold until at least late February, Metservice meteorologist Georgina Griffiths said.

"Well hasn't it been an interesting summer across the country with rain, storms and ice even?," Griffiths said.

"It's definitely cooler than we should be at this time of year, and we expect it to remain cool for the remainder of January and through to February."

Temperatures since mid-December had been cooler than usual in most places because of prevailing southwester winds.

Last week a weather bomb caused rivers in the South Island to surge to their highest levels in recent years, and snow hit areas near Queenstown - extremely unusual in mid-summer.

Despite the frequent southwesterlies keeping temperatures cool, Griffiths said Auckland, Coromandel and Northland have had it better than the rest of the country.

"It has been pretty dry in these regions but even with the southwesterlies, it's still pleasant," she said.

"For those who feel cheated about not getting a summer, the good news is that we may be having a nice autumn coming."

High-pressure systems that passed through frequently across the North Island was putting Whangarei on track to having its warmest summers ever.

The warmest temperatures elsewhere were forecast to hit later in February or March, Griffiths said, which was "quite unusual".

"Until then we are expecting the highs to sit around 20C to 23C," she said.

"Looking on the bright side, it won't be a scorcher for the kids when they get back to school."

After last night's storm, Auckland will today enjoy fine breaks with few showers.

But the winds will continue to remain strong, with gales gusting 90km/h expected to hit in exposed places.

Tomorrow will be mainly fine after a few morning showers, but Southwesterlies will keep the temperature down to a high of just 20C.

WeatherWatch head analyst Phil Duncan said more high pressure systems were rolling in over the next few weeks.

But the changeable "spring-like" weather out of the Southern Ocean will continue to fire up southwest changes and cold fronts.

However, Duncan was still predicting a more settled summer pattern was still coming.

"Summer is not over," he said.

"We have plenty of sunny, hot, dry and calm days coming up over the next several weeks, especially in our most popular holiday spots."

Last year's summer was the warmest in New Zealand's recorded history, but it is looking to be a totally different story this time around.

- NZ Herald

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