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Winter’s sting on the run

The snow-capped Tararua Ranges made a good backdrop for contented sheep yesterday. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER.

By Don Farmer
[email protected]
Wairarapa people are optimistic blue skies this week linked with revved up warmth from the sun is heralding an end to winter and the arrival of sustained better weather ahead.
According to the MetService they are partly right, but there is likely to be a few twists in the tail of winter yet before it signs off.
Forecaster Stephen Glassey said spring is officially “getting close” and now that the winter solstice is two months past there is definitely more power in the sun.
He said the immediate forecast is the fine, sunny days now prevailing will be followed by “a few low pressures systems that are developing over the Tasman Sea.”
“This will mean a mostly northerly flow over the country with rain but it will be fairly mild,” he said.
Signs spring is creeping closer included reports of sea breezes which is not usually associated with winter.
Although completed monthly outlooks only extend to the end of August at this stage Mr Glassey said it appears there is a 50-60 per cent likelihood conditions will be La Nina this summer.
“It should be either La Nina or neutral and is very unlikely to be El Nino, although that is always possible.”
Typically La Nina or neutral summer seasons are what is regarded as being a more “normal” pattern as El Nino disrupts normal weather patterns and can lead to intense storms in some places and droughts in others.
On a more grassroots level in Wairarapa signs that spring is in the air are the emergence and flowering of daffodils and other bulbs and the progression of the lambing season.
Lambing is well underway in most farming areas of the region, with sheep farmers welcoming the mild weather devoid of wind chill and daffodils are flowering along roadsides and in gardens.

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