Weather Watch
Weather analyst Philip Duncan checks the forecast and the story behind the temperatures

How do you tell if spring has arrived?


How do you work out when Spring arrives? Is it when the calendar tells you? Is it when news stories tell you? Or is it simply noticing things around you that show that Spring is here? With me it's the latter. The seasons aren't dictated to me by calendars, although I do observe the meteorological season dates (Sept 1, Dec 1 etc). I've noticed several things over the past couple of weeks which proves spring is here.

Here's my top 10.

1) I'm using less firewood. I'm lighting my fire later in the evening and noticing I'm not burning as much wood.

2) I'm not switching the heater on in my bedroom anymore, or my office.

3) The bed isn't as cold when I climb into it.

4) I don't have the hot water turned up so high in the shower.

5) My dog is malting. I'm vacuuming the hallway and lounge (wooden floors) every second day picking up all his golden retriever hair!

6) The lawn isn't so muddy and on sunny days it almost looks dry.

7) The grass is growing again.

8) Daisies are popping up in the lawn.

9) Laundry dries quickly when I hang it out.

10)Flowers are appearing.

So all of this proves, to me, that Spring has arrived early. Add on to that the fact that temperatures are much higher than they were last month - especially in the North Island. The South Island's isn't quite there yet although it's been much warmer in Central Otago and Southland lately thanks to more northerlies.

Based on nothing but my memory (which for most human beings is a pretty terrible gauge when it comes to weather events) I usually find the next few weeks relatively settled....things really pick up in October when we see a good mix of hot and cold air. This is after the spring equinox around September 22 and is the reason why many people celebrate the start of Spring then.

It'll be interesting to see what this Spring brings us... last year was relatively quiet whereas the year before that was wild.

While I say I don't let calendars dictate the start of seasons that isn't entirely true. I have to admit when I see September 1 appear I get this feeling that the season has ‘officially' begun. I'm an impatient person...I always look forward to the next season but this winter really got to me for some reason. I'm glad it's coming to an end and I'm definitely looking forward to the next 3 months of weather.

So what about you? What do you use to prove to yourself that spring has arrived? Post a comment below.

Check out our Spring photo gallery here

And remember to follow me on Twitter



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