Weather Watch

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

Summer's start brings mixed bag

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We're for plenty of sun - and rain - this summer as our weather pattern sits in a neutral zone. Photo / NZ Herald
We're for plenty of sun - and rain - this summer as our weather pattern sits in a neutral zone. Photo / NZ Herald

For those wanting a roaring hot start to summer you may need a little more patience as we kick off our final Sunday of spring.

Judging by the weather - and public comments - it seems the fickle spring pattern continues. Here's a snap shot across New Zealand mid-week, according to the WeatherWatch Facebook page:

• "Freezing, windy and raining! So much for the winterless north." - Gina Jones

• "North Canterbury cool and cloudy" - Dannie Armstrong

• "A lovely summer's day in Tokoroa." - Elizabeth Cleghorn

• "Warm but cloudy on the North Shore, would like to see some blue sky." - Annabel Goubitz

• "Absolutely beautiful day in Wellington. Sunny skies and very light breeze." - Kerri Lake

"Cool with a lovely steady drizzle that's making the grass grow up in Kaipara." - Anna Curnow

• "Awesome weather in New Plymouth today, warm and can't see a cloud." - Megan Goodman

A lack of hot nor'westers this spring has helped keep temperatures down. In previous springs we've seen the 30C mark hit several times.

But this makes sense because we are in a neutral period at the moment. When people ask me what that means my reply is this: It means we get the normal weather two islands in the roaring 40s get, a mix of sun, rain, wind, calm, as opposed to a driving force like La Nina or El Nino, which tends to favour one type of weather over another.

Last summer was dominated by La Nina, the often cloudy, humid and wet weather pattern that helped destroy a decent outdoor summer last year. This year we're in that "neutral" period that means we get a bit of everything. Enough sun to make beachgoers happy, but enough rain to hopefully keep the paddocks greener.

The lack of 30C days this spring shows the real lack of oomph in our weather pattern at the moment. Some models show a windy start to December ... that could favour hot in the east, wet or cloudy in the west.

Next weekend when you're reading the Herald on Sunday you'll be reading it in summer, but remember a number of people don't consider summer's official start until the longest day of the year, a few days before Christmas. And this year the weather may be following that later date, just don't get your hopes raised for an instant summer a week from now.

- Herald on Sunday

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