Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


La Nina's gone; wild and unruly arrives


TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2018

La Nina's gone; wild and unruly arrives

We've got hot temperatures, we've got cold temperatures, freezing temperatures, ice, snow, hail, rain - and even a few rays of sunshine. And one very confused weather pattern.

This time last week 15 towns and cities across New Zealand were on track for their warmest May on record. By the end of the weekend just three were still in with a chance. Yesterday, they too fell out of the running.

And now there are new records being set and winter hasn't even officially started.

The typically sub-tropical Whangarei - the same town, that as of yesterday was tracking for its 4th warmest May on record, registered 0.8 °C this morning, its coldest May temperature since 1976.

Auckland, Hamilton, Whangarei, and Thames were all colder than Christchurch and Dunedin last night. But the coldest temperature of the year so far was in Ranfurly and Middlemarch where it was -6.0°. It hasn't been that cold anywhere in the country since last September.

NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll says the weather switch was actually flipped at the beginning of April.

"For months we'd had a La Nina weather pattern which brings more warm northerly winds our way. Then it was like the rug was pulled out from underneath this global climate driver and we got something completely different."

Mr Noll says we are now in limbo – neither La Nina, nor El Nino – which means a lot of ups and downs, and exposure to more variable weather.

"Mother Nature dances to the left, dances to the right and then takes a misstep – we're seeing it all at the moment."

Tonight will be similarly cold across the country and Mr Noll is expecting more near records — in Whangarei’s case, it may break the coldest May temperature record of 0.6°C.

The silver lining, of course, is the early, deep snow packs down south but Mr Noll says the only certainty about all this uncertainty is that it's not an indicator of winter as a whole.

Mr Noll says conditions will turn a bit milder at times during the first half of June and we're not necessarily in for a winter with regular record-breaking cold, but the periodic sharp cold snaps that we've all been experiencing this week may continue.

Check back on Thursday when NIWA releases its winter climate outlook.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Electricity Market: Power Panel Favours Scrapping Low-Fixed Charges

An independent panel reviewing electricity prices favours scrapping the government’s low-user fixed charge regime, banning the use of prompt-payment discounts, and requiring greater disclosure of the profit split between the retail and generation arms of the major power companies. More>>


Bottomless Oil And Zero Climate Cost: Greenpeace Not Big On PEPANZ Gas Ban Report

The NZIER report commissioned by oil industry body, PEPANZ, claims the oil and gas ban issued by the Government last April could cost the the New Zealand economy $28 billion by 2050... But Greenpeace says the figures in the report are based on false assumptions and alternative facts. More>>


Sunday Fruit Fly Update: Devonport Fruit And Veg Lockdown

Work continues at pace on the biosecurity response following the discovery last week of one male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Devonport. More>>


Digital Services Tax: Government To Plan Tax On Web Operator Income

New Zealand is to consult on the design of changes to tax rules which currently allow multinational companies in the digital services field to do business here without paying income tax. More>>