Otago's ''brilliant'' winter weather may give way to a cooler
spring, weather watchers predict.
The region's warmer-than-normal winter, especially in the
Maniototo, is likely to change to a cool September,
MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths says.
''Southwesterlies prevailed over New Zealand during August,''
Below-average temperatures were generally observed across the
country, with the exception of a handful of warm days to
start and end the month.
Several cold spells brought snow during the month, the most
significant on August 13-15, she said.
The first half of August was wet for the west and far south
of the South Island.
''The second half of the month saw higher pressures over the
South Island, with mostly dry conditions seen there,'' she
''Overall, lower-than-usual pressures are expected over New
Zealand in September.''
At the start of the month, the lows would lie over the north
of the country, while the South Island would get most of the
dry weather and high pressure.
''But as we move further into the month, expect those lows to
shuffle south towards Cook Strait, bringing rain for the
remainder of the North Island.
"But in contrast, it looks like a relatively dry month for
Southland and Otago.''
''A cool September is likely for Southland and Otago, and it
looks a touch cooler for eastern areas of both islands as
That meant for Dunedin it would be cooler and drier.
Dunedin hydrologist Dave Stewart said it had been ''obviously
warmer than usual'' in Otago during winter, with
below-average rainfall in most places.
Provisional winter figures from Niwa showed Wanaka was the
only spot in Otago to get more rain than normal (180mm, 120%
of normal) while Dunedin received the least with only 54% of
normal in Musselburgh and 52% at the airport up to August 25.
Temperatures were higher than normal across the district,
especially in Ranfurly, where its mean temperature (4.6degC)
was 1.5degC higher than normal and its highest on record, as
at August 25. Oamaru's mean daily maximum (11.9degC) was
1degC warmer than average.
Mr Stewart said the figures, if confirmed, showed Otago had
its second milder-than-average winter in a row.
For the past week the region, especially Dunedin, had been
enjoying the calm, settled weather normally seen in June.
Instead, June and July were very unsettled.
''The days have been really nice, no wind and warmer than
For farmers, the conditions had made for a mostly dry ground
for winter, but they would be hoping for more rain next month
to promote grass growth, Mr Stewart said.
What this meant for summer depended on whether an El Nino
weather pattern emerged and if so what type, he said.
''We'll have to wait and see.''