Dunedin and Oamaru have already had more than
threequarters of their average summer rainfall, yet there is
still half the season to go.
It will come as no surprise to Otago residents and
holiday-makers who have dealt with the cold, wet and windy
conditions of the past few weeks that Dunedin has already
received 74% of its average summer rainfall, Oamaru 80% and
Queenstown 58%, Niwa figures show.
The wet has come with cooler-than-normal temperatures, with
the mean daily maximum for the summer, December 1 to March 1,
so far below the season's average in all Otago's main
Alexandra's temperatures are so far 1.7degC below the summer
average, while Wanaka is 1.6degC and Dunedin and Balclutha
Niwa meteorologist Mike Revelly said the weather had been
changeable around the country so Otago should not feel picked
It was the result of a lack of slow-moving highs which
brought more settled sunny weather. Instead, the country had
seen the odd day or 12 hours of sunshine quickly shunted
aside by the next front, he said.
So while the occasional sunny day was not satisfying many, it
paid to remember the weather was worse last summer. Last
January it rained nearly half the month, with heavy falls at
the start pushing rainfall statistics way above normal.
So far this month it has rained more days than not, but
rainfall totals were still well under normal, although in
Wanaka 85% of the month's rainfall has fallen.
Dunedin hydrologist Dave Stewart said the weather was
unpleasant but not ''unheard of''.
''The grass isn't even growing, it's struggling because it's
not warm enough.''
He, like many, was hoping for a repeat of last summer's
turnaround which saw Dunedin experience a six-week-long warm,
mostly dry spell.
February was on average the second-warmest month of the year,
Niwa climate scientist Brett Mullen said indications
suggested February to March should be more settled.
''Summer last year was really unusual. It does look on the
dry side in Otago for the next three months but don't expect
it to come until February.''
In the meantime, the MetService was predicting a blustery,
warm day today with 24degC - the warmest day since January 3
when 24degC was recorded, meteorologist John Law said.
However, it would be shortlived as another southerly spell
was expected to bring rain on Thursday and a cool
southwesterly on Friday.
It would improve slightly for the weekend, although rain was
expected on Sunday.