It's official -- October WAS cold
Last month was the coldest October for 64 years throughout much of New Zealand, including Wanganui. Figures released from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research [NIWA] show that temperatures in the lower North Island were on average 2 degrees colder than normal.
Georgina Griffiths, climate scientist at NIWA, said October was a month of south-easterlies, bringing cold and wet weather to much of the country.
Wanganui had its third-highest rainfall for October – at 142mm, this was 175 per cent of October’s normal rainfall.
Ms Griffiths said much of this rain fell between October 4 and 6, during an unseasonal cold snap which saw Hawke’s Bay and the Central Plateau suffer the heaviest snowfalls since 1967. Snow also fell in Taranaki, Waikato and Rotorua – the first major snowfall in Rotorua for 30 years.
Wanganui’s temperatures took a beating during October, too.
On October 4, Wanganui’s high temperature was just 8.9 degrees, the lowest October high temperature in Wanganui since records began.
Average afternoon high temperatures were 2 degrees lower than normal – at 15.1 degrees, Wanganui’s second-lowest ever for October.
Ms Griffiths said most of the North Island was wet and cold because of the many low pressure systems coming in from the Tasman Sea.
By contrast, the West Coast of the South Island had unusually sunny and warm weather for October.
And what’s in store for Wanganui over the next few months?
The bad news is that the unseasonal weather is expected to last into November, according to Ms Griffiths.
“We’re still in the southerly regime, so we have a few weeks left of unsettled weather but it should improve towards Christmas.”