An "early spring" storm is boosting temperatures into the mid
20s in what is normally the coldest time of the year,
The coastal town of Kaikoura hit 24C this afternoon, while
parts of Canterbury, Hawkes Bay and Auckland recorded
temperatures in the low 20s.
A strong northwester was the cause of the unseasonable
temperatures, WeatherWatch said.
However, cooler air has already started to move into
Southland and Otago, head weather analyst Philip Duncan said,
meaning Sunday and Monday will be significantly cooler.
But not after a warm Saturday night for many of the main
centres, particularly in the North Island.
"This is an incredibly warm spell for early August, but not
surprising to WeatherWatch forecasters after a
record-breaking warm June and plenty of mild westerlies
expected this month," Mr Duncan said.
July was closer to average temperatures due to more
southerlies blowing in cold air from the Southern Ocean, he
said, in comparison to June which saw more northerlies
feeding mild air from the sub-tropics over the country.
"A week ago people from Southland to Waikato were waking up
to temperatures as low as -4C, this morning most woke up to
temperatures 15C to 20C warmer," Mr Duncan said.
"Even Auckland was around 18C warmer this Saturday morning
compared to last Saturday morning."
The bulk of the gales today are through inland, more rural,
parts of the South Island, but winds are likely to rise
further this afternoon in Wellington.
However, with the worst winds forecast around exposed areas,
serious damage was not expected, he said.
The windy weather will ease gradually across Sunday as a band
of rain moves over the North Island.
Sunday will be warm for many northern parts, but cooler air
will spread across the South Island for Sunday and into the
North Island on Monday.
Warmer spring-like westerlies are set to return around
Wednesday, Mr Duncan said.
- Patrice Dougan of APNZ