Thor Grant, a pomeranian, battles the wind on John Wilson
Ocean Dr in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
A 67-year August temperature record for Dunedin melted
yesterday as strong northwesterly winds buffeted the region,
bringing down powerlines and trees, lifting roofing iron and
fuelling a grass fire.
Dunedin, at Musselburgh, recorded its highest August
temperature of 21.7degC, beating the 21.5degC recorded in
Oamaru recorded its second highest August temperature of
21.9degC and Queenstown its third-highest at 18.9degC.
To put the figures in context, Dunedin's average maximum
temperature during the summer months is 18.4degC and in
Queenstown if you used winter solstice as a start date, it
was the earliest time of year the alpine town had surpassed
18degC since 1872.
The nor'wester buffeted most of the region, with Wanaka and
Alexandra experiencing the highest gusts of 93kmh and 89kmh
In Dunedin, the airport recorded a gust of 78kmh and Swampy
Summit, one of the city's highest points, recorded gusts of
A student in the city had a close call when a power pole came
down only 1m from him.
In Alexandra, firefighters were working to control a fire on
the hills at Fruitlands, while wind brought down power lines
for short periods in Arrowtown, Lake Hayes and Frankton.
MetService meteorologist John Law said the winds were going
to continue today, but temperatures would drop into single
figures and some snow was expected on the region's hills
''Sunday will be a lot colder.''
Niwa meteorologist Chris Brandalino said there was a high
pressure system to the northeast and a low pressure system to
the south of Tasmania creating the northwesterly flow.
''Tomorrow it will change to more southwest and then cool off
The outlook for August to October suggested the milder
conditions could continue for the rest of winter due to more
easterly winds, he said.