Hot spring lifts hopes for summer
New Zealand just experienced its equal warmest August-October period on record – and the experts say it heralds a stunning summer.
Wellington has been enjoying its best November for half a decade, with lots of sunshine and very little rain.
Now the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) says the next three months look like bringing warmer and drier air to the capital .
Niwa forecaster Ben Noll said a building La Nina condition in the tropical Pacific was expected to translate to more northeasterly winds than usual during the coming three months, which would bring above-average temperatures during summer nationally, while rainfall was expected to be near-normal.
For Wellington, more northeasterlies would likely mean warmer and drier air, as opposed to the southerlies that contribute to the city’s notorious wind.
August, September and October were all between 0.5 and 1.3 degrees Celsius above average for Wellington.
Noll said the capital could expect ‘‘extended dry spells’’, and it was ‘‘not unreasonable to think that we’ll have several more days than last year with maximum temperatures above 20 and 25 degrees’’.
That did not mean every day would be warm and dry, he said.
‘‘They may be interrupted by sub-tropical lows, and potentially heavy rainfall, tracking in from the north at times.’’
The outlook of a decent summer will be music to the ears of many Wellingtonians, who endured a wet, windy and cold summer in 2017, which served up the fewest beach-weather days in 30 years.
There was a chance the La Nina pattern could be short-lived or weak, which would leave the door open for changeable patterns over the coming three months.