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

 

Record Warmth So Far This Winter

New Zealand has just experienced its warmest June and July since records began in 1909 and - with one month to go - is on track for its second successive warmest winter on record.

Data from NIWA’s Seven Station temperature series shows that the temperature for the past two months was an extremely high 1.53C above the long-term average.

NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll says the previous record was 1.15C above average for June and July in 2016.

"There have been a number of factors which have contributed to the warmer temperatures. Air pressure has been higher than normal in the east so far this winter which has brought more northeasterly winds to New Zealand bringing warmer air from the sub-tropics."

Sea temperatures around the coast have also been warmer than average, modifying colder air masses tracking towards New Zealand.

Mr Noll also said the Southern Hemisphere polar vortex above Antarctica has been stronger than normal. "This helps keep filaments of frigid air tucked away deep in the Southern Ocean."

Atmospheric patterns have also leaned towards a La Niña-like direction, which tends to produce warmer conditions in the Southwest Pacific. Another climate driver in the Indian Ocean, called the Indian Ocean Dipole, developed during July and played a role in the atmospheric river that brought flooding to the Buller District as well as extra warmth and humidity.

Meanwhile, the warmer temperatures have resulted in more rain and less snow at lower elevations where rain has played havoc with some ski fields.

Hydrological forecaster Dr Jono Conway said most of the NIWA snow monitoring stations between 1800 and 2000 m elevation were experiencing average or above average snow levels for the time of year but sites at lower elevations had little or no snow. Apart from sites in Canterbury that received a large dump of snow at the tail end of the May flood event, most of the snow has come from a few big events in early- to mid-July.

"The warm temperatures have been causing the precipitation to fall as rain at lower elevations, which makes it very difficult for ski fields with bases at lower elevations, particularly club fields with no snow making."

July in particular featured above or well above normal rainfall in the interior and western South Island, with Mt Cook recording 146% of its monthly normal rainfall and Arthur’s Pass on 181%.

Monthly temperatures were 1.7C and 1.9C above average, respectively, illustrating that the rain/snow zone sat at a higher altitude than normal.

Mr Noll said with the June and July temperatures tracking so far above average, this winter had a firm lead on last year’s figures.

"This is consistent with our expectations. In the background, the long-term tailwind of climate change continues to churn. Of the seven warmest June and Julys, six have occurred since 2000," Mr Noll said.

For the year to the end of July 2021 ranks as the sixth warmest on record.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 



Consumer NZ: Buy-now, Pay-later Raking In $10m+ In Late Fees Annually

A Consumer NZ survey has found buy-now, pay-later services are costing shoppers more than $10 million a year in late fees. Close to four out of 10 Kiwi consumers use buy-now, pay-later services, such as Afterpay, Laybuy and Zip... More>>

Westpac: Catherine Mcgrath Appointed New Zealand CEO

Westpac Group CEO Peter King and the Westpac New Zealand Board today announced the appointment of Catherine McGrath as Chief Executive Officer, Westpac New Zealand... More>>


Amazon: AWS To Open Data Centres In New Zealand

Today, Amazon Web Services (AWS), announced plans to open an infrastructure region in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2024. The new AWS Asia Pacific (Auckland) Region will consist of three Availability Zones (AZs) and join the existing 81 Availability Zones across 25 geographic AWS Regions at launch... More>>

ALSO:



Statistics: Surge In Imports Results In Record Monthly Trade Deficit
Imports increased $1.8 billion in August 2021 compared with August 2020, resulting in a record monthly trade deficit of $2.1 billion, Stats NZ said today. Exports were little changed, down $42 million. "This is a larger deficit than normal because of higher values for imports.. More>>

Fonterra: Completes reset, announces annual results and long-term growth plan out to 2030

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today announced a strong set of results for the 2021 financial year, reflected in a final Farmgate Milk Price of $7.54, normalised earnings per share of 34 cents and a final dividend of 15 cents... More>>


Statistics: GDP rises in the June 2021 quarter

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 2.8 percent in the June 2021 quarter, following a 1.4 percent increase in the March 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today. June 2021 quarter GDP was 4.3 percent higher when compared with the December 2019 quarter... More>>