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.