Holiday makers rolling up wet tents and long lines to get
into the movies and to the swimming pool have been frequent
sights in Otago this summer as people escape the rain.
So it will come as no surprise to Otago residents and
visitors that Niwa figures show January to date has been
wetter and cooler than normal.
With 11 days of the month still to go, Queenstown, Balclutha
and Wanaka have all had more than their normal rainfall for
January, 150%, 131% and 124% respectively.
For first 20 days of the month, it rained on 14 days in
Balclutha, 10 in Dunedin, 11 in Queenstown and eight in
Temperatures so far were below January's average in Alexandra
by 1.5degC, Wanaka 1.2degC, Queenstown 1degC and 0.9degC in
However, Dunedin's temperature so far was near its average at
Raineffects hydrologist Dave Stewart said the cooler and
wetter than average weather for January was the result of a
series of systems preceded by a very strong, moist
That was followed by a high pressure ridge with a cold
southerly in behind it.
''We've been in this regime since just after Christmas but it
shows signs of waning.''
It was six to eight days since the last heavy rainfall in the
headwaters, which was giving the lakes time to drop from
their near flood levels, he said.
These sorts of systems usually lasted from three to eight
weeks so it was possible this one was on its way out,
although ''it could come back''.
There was a front expected to bring rain to the South
tomorrow, but it had weakened and was not expected to be
anything like those that dropped 100mm-plus of rain in to the
Southern Lakes, he said.