Townies and farmers welcome warmth

TOM HUNT
Last updated 05:00 12/06/2013
Warm winter weather
CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ

DRESSED FOR SUMMER: A lightly clad shopper walks past a window display selling winter clothes as Wellington basks in balmy weather.

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Temperatures have been well above average in the lower North Island this month, bringing welcome warmth to townies, and good grass growth to farmers.

A low that travelled from the warmth of the northern Tasman Sea is sitting off Gisborne, circulating warm air around the North Island.

Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei provincial president Andrew Hoggard said the warm start to winter had "really saved our bacon in terms of having that good grass growth now".

It meant less stored feed was being used, meaning more would be in store for early spring when new animals were born.

However, things could still be a struggle, especially in areas hard-hit by the drought around Taihape and Waiouru. The summer drought is expected to put a $2 billion dent in the economy.

In Wellington, the daily low temperature dipped below average only once this month, and the daily high fell below average twice, Niwa climate scientist Brett Mullan said.

The rest of June was forecast to be slightly above average in Wellington.

MetService meteorologist Dan Corbett said the low in Wellington on Monday night was about 11 degrees Celsius.

Yesterday's high was 15C. The average for this time of year was 7C overnight, with a 13C daytime high.

The warm weather was caused by a low that had arrived from the northern Tasman Sea and was sitting, stuck "like a car in mud", off Gisborne. The warm air in it was circulating around the North Island.

The warm weather would begin to leave this week, with overnight lows dropping to 7C by Friday and Saturday.

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- The Dominion Post

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