Record October temperatures in the east

October 8, 2015

Wednesday was the warmest October day on record for several eastern towns.In the North Island, Wairoa reached 31.3C in the afternoon beating the previous October record of 30.2C from 2006. While in the South Island, Kaikoura soared to 32.2C beating the previous record of 27.8C (also from 2006), and Timaru managed 29.0C which was slightly higher than the 28.9C recorded in 1977. Many other eastern places also recorded afternoon temperatures in the high twenties.

The high temperatures were due to a very warm air mass spreading off Australia combined with a northwest foehn wind over New Zealand. “In this case, the air that arrived in the west of the country lost its moisture as it travelled up and over the mountains, allowing it to warm at a greater rate as it descended down the other side. By the time the air arrived in the east it was more than 10C warmer than the air west of the mountains,” explained MetService Meteorologist Stephen Glassey.

The northwest winds were particularly strong in the South Island where parts of Canterbury, Otago and Southland were on the receiving end of gusts of over 120km/h. The combination of strong, dry winds and warm temperatures meant the fire risk was exacerbated in these areas.

A much colder southerly flow is affecting New Zealand today but more warm,dry weather is expected in the east this weekend. “A westerly flow this weekend will mean warm, sunny weather in the east although it won’t be as warm as Wednesday for most places and the winds won’t be as strong. Western areas can expect cloud at times but it will be mostly dry there too.Overall the weather is looking settled for the end of the school holidays,” commented Glassey.

Looking further ahead, a front is expected to move onto the South Island on Monday then onto the North Island on Tuesday, bringing a period of rain and cooler temperatures to many places by mid-week.

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For further information please contact:
Stephen Glassey Meteorologist (04)4700754

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