INDEPENDENT NEWS Cold, miserable Queen's B'day

Published: Tue 30 May 2006 02:50 PM
Media release – May 30, 2006
Prepare for cold and miserable Queen’s Birthday weekend – says
New Zealand can expect Queen’s Birthday weekend to be cold and miserable, long range forecaster Ken Ring of said today.
The weekend will be the start of another cold snap across the country, he said.
``In the South Island a wintry blast during the first week of June will hammer Canterbury, central and south Otago, Queenstown and Southland with snow and sleet reaching low levels. Fine and frosty weather will then follow.
``Cold winds, turbulence and low pressure at the edge of a high pressure system will pass up throughout the country, bringing damp cooler conditions than experienced in the previous days leading up to the weekend.
``It will start out wettest at the start and becoming clearer by the end of the weekend, leading into a nice fine working week from Tuesday and Wednesday onwards.’’
Rain may never be too far away for the North Island, although more eastern districts will have developing fine intervals, and temperatures should drop rapidly over most of the country throughout the three days.
Ring said the coldest phases this winter would be those days leading up to and during the second weeks of June and July, and the first weeks of August and September. Around mid-June some parts of Auckland may even get frost.
This year will overall be a slightly wetter and warmer, but New Zealand is creeping away from the mild summers and warmer winters of the past few years, he said.
``By 2009/10 we will be enjoying more marked differences in the seasons - colder winters and longer hotter summers. The reason is the moon's declination, which by 2010 will be similar to where it was in 1992, in which year big snows paralysed Christchurch, about a million stock died, buildings were damaged and the economic impact on Canterbury was estimated at up to $100 million.
``Next month should be drier than May in the North Island, and July 8 in Christchurch for the next big game at Jade Stadium – the All Blacks v Australia - looks to be a sunny and crisp clear day, little wind but coolish,’’ Ring said.
August will be a much wetter month for all except some east coast areas of both islands. In the first week in August heavy flooding rain may drown parts of the North Island.
Coromandel will have a record wet year. Southern hydrolake levels will be critically low in 2006 but normal levels will return in 2007.

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