Southern spring sizzle sets records

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An immense dome of high pressure stretched across the Tasman Sea onto the South Island yesterday, bringing the highest temperatures across New Zealand since April.

Under bright sunshine, temperatures soared well into the 20s across much of inland Canterbury, Otago, and Southland, and one climate station in the Waitaki District topping 30 degrees.

While the well above average temperatures were driven by a flow of air originating in Australia, drier than usual conditions from September into October across these areas may have given temperatures an extra boost.

As of this morning, Queenstown has had a 25-day dry spell, the longest since 2014. A dry spell is a period of at least 15 consecutive days with less than 1 mm rain per day.

Thursday’s temperatures, records and near-records

Warmest location: 30.1°C, about 9 km west of Otematata (Waitaki District)

 

  • Cromwell (Central Otago): 28.6°C , 2nd warmest October temperature on record since records began in 1949.
  • Clyde (Central Otago): 28.0°C, 3rd warmest October temperature on record since records began in 1978.
  • Alexandra (Central Otago): 27.8C°, tie-5th warmest October temperature on record since records began in 1929.
  • Lauder (Central Otago): 27.3C°, 2nd warmest October temperature on record since records began in 1924.
  • Five Rivers (Southland): 25.8C°, warmest October temperature on record since records began in 1982.
  • Mt Cook (Mackenzie Region): 25.2C°, warmest October temperature on record since records began in 1929.
  • Ranfurly (Central Otago): 25.1°C, 2nd warmest October temperature on record since records began in 1896.
  • Te Anau (Southland): 22.6°C, 3rd warmest October temperature on record since records began in 1963.

 

The warmest October temperature on record in New Zealand occurred in 1914 in Timaru when the temperature reached 32.8 degrees on October 10.

 

Contact:

Ben Noll, NIWA forecaster, Ph 09 375 6334

Research subject: Climate