Spring likely to be warmer than usual

Spring in the air . . . Otago Polytechnic students (from left) Mansoureh Sadeghi and Ziba Eidizada take time from their studies to stop and smell the daffodils near a North Dunedin bus stop. PHOTO: JOHN LEWIS

Blossoms are out, daffodils are blooming, and lambs and calves are due any time now.

Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes some warmer weather.

But Niwa is warning Dunedin residents not to pack away their winter woollies just yet.

The season officially arrives on Tuesday, and Niwa forecasting principal scientist Chris Brandolino is forecasting Dunedin’s weather to be warmer and drier than average over the next two months.

Mr Brandolino said Niwa along with other international weather agencies “La Nina watch”.

A La Nina watch was issued when tropical trade winds were stronger than normal and ocean waters became unusually cool in the equatorial Pacific.

“There is an expectation for these conditions to continue for at least the next two months, which means the air pressure is expected to be higher than normal around New Zealand.”

In Dunedin, that meant temperatures were most likely to be above average for this time of year; and rainfall totals, soil moisture levels and river flows were about equally likely to be near normal or below normal.

However, he said cold snaps and frosts could still be expected in any of the typically colder locations over the next month.