Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

That didn’t last long!


I’m referring to the season commonly named spring. Has anyone noticed that the names of the supposedly most beautiful months of the year – April, May and June (in the northern hemisphere) – are also given to girls? Perhaps not as often as in the generation of my parents, but nevertheless still recognised as being feminine names.

In Aotearoa spring “officially” starts on the first day of September and ends on the last day of November, but yesterday and even more so today, we seem to have reverted to winter. The almost gale force south easterly winds of yesterday have eased somewhat – now only 50 km/h (31 mph) gusting to 61 km/h (38 mph) – but it’s very obvious where they originated from – the Antarctic. Apparently some regions in Te Wai Pounamu (South Island) dropped to -2°C (28°F) overnight. That definitely is Winter temperature!

My indoor/outdoor thermometer recorded the outside temperature at 11°C (52°F) at 1:00pm. That’s 14°C (25°F) colder than this day last year and 5°C (9°F) cooler than average. Thank goodness I had the foresight to turn on the heat pump last night. I appreciate comparing the temperature of a single day in one year with the same day in another year is not going to prove or disprove climate change. However if one chooses to compare temperatures over a few decades, what is obvious is that year on year variations are now more extreme than they were in the middle part of the twentieth century. It’s a trend that only likely to increase over at least the next few decades no matter the outcome of the COP26 summit.

Admittedly Aotearoa is notorious for its frequent, rapid and localised weather changes, but it’s not a reputation I wish to see extended.

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

3 thoughts on “That didn’t last long!

  1. That is interesting – here in Toronto, Ontario we are shuddering because Nov 1 brought cold as well – but the minus 2 overnight or whatever it was isn’t really that low. Where I live, we haven’t had a frost yet – 2 hrs north of Toronto where I do a lot of hiking, the trees haven’t fully turned colour yet – my journals tell me that in the 1980s at the time of our Thanksgiving [approx Oct 10 most yrs] the leaves were finishing, most of them off the trees in most years. So over-all we are definitely warming here – people don’t notice it because they get acclimated.

    But we have a ‘continental’ climate. What do they say NZ has? And does Australia affect your climate?

    Re April, May and June – I never noticed that before

    • Most of NZ has a temperate climate, with the north being subtropical and the south approaching sub-antarctic. No part of NZ is more than 140 Km from the ocean and that means our winters are warmer and our summers cooler that a continental climate. I live about 30 Km from the ocean and we we have about 5 – 10 frosts per year. Daytime temperatures seldom drop below 10℃ (50℉) in winter or above 25℃ (77℉) in summer.

      Having said that, NZ’s topography results in many microclimates. for example, a desert region in the centre of the North Island and one of the wettest places on earth – Fiordland in the south west of the South Island, where the annual rainfall is around 7 m (275 inches) per year.

      There’s a convergence of tropical air flows from the north and antarctic air flows from the south, and this results in rapidly changing weather as the convergence moves up and down the country. Daily weather changes can be as large as seasonal changes. Apparently NZ is one of the most difficult places to forecast the weather because we really can have four seasons in one day.

      Australia is too far away to affect our weather (2000 Km / 1200 miles) but our sunrises and sunsets can be affected by dust storms in the Australian desert, and guess where the dust from their increasingly frequent forest fires settles. In the 2019 some of our snowfields developed a distinct reddish hue. We found we had to use windscreen washers each time we used the car to clear away the fine dust. But wow, we really did appreciate the most glorious sunrises and sunsets.

  2. I’m wondering if you might be spared the awful “heat domes” that struck parts of the Northern Hemisphere in this latest summer. It seems to me that they only form over large landmasses — but it’s a phenomenon that perhaps hasn’t been studied enough to know really well.

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