Tuesday 28 May 2019

NZ autumn sets a record

New Zealand to record one of the warmest-ever autumns – NIWA

28 May, 2019

NIWA says New Zealand is on track to record it's fourth warmest autumn ever with some parts of the country logging record-breaking temperatures.

The mild and dry conditions have meant good news for some of our produce growers, making it a good time to buy green vegetables.

Alan Fong produces green leaf vegetables like salads and broccolini and says the season has been exceptional.

"It's actually a boomer autumn for us, so we've got ample supplies, it's great quality," he says. "That means good deals for the consumer right now."

Our autumn has been so warm and dry it could break records.

NIWA says five locations across the country are on track to reach their warmest autumn yet, with Gore and Taupo set to log their second warmest.

And it's not just the warmth. These places across the country are also experiencing their driest autumn season.

"It's been a warm past three months for much of the country, we're on track for a top-four finish for the warmest autumn's going back to 1909," NIWA principal scientist Chris Brandolino told Newshub.

Brandolino says temperatures have been 1 to 2 degrees above average for this time of the year.

The South Island has seen the biggest departure from its typical autumn temperatures, while the North Island has been unusually dry.

"We haven't had the heavy rains that we've encountered in the last couple of years," Fong says.

A combination of high pressure, a lack of southerlies, warm ocean temperatures and of course the effects of climate change are behind the record-setting weather.

But it doesn't mean we've escaped a crisp start to winter.

"June is not going to be anything like it's been in May or autumn, [it] looks to be quite unsettled, looks to be quite chilly even for the time of year," Brandolino says.

With four more days of autumn left those records could still shift - but many have already reaped the rewards of a warmer than usual autumn.

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