Is the warmer weather benefiting you?
It is still meant to be winter but someone forgot to tell the flowers.
Spring-like temperatures have been keeping Wellingtonians warmer than usual this month, with temperatures up to 4 degrees Celsius higher than normal being recorded, and Botanic Gardens staff are reporting an abundance of blooms.
But while the unseasonable weather is proving great for basking in the warmth, it is less of a joy for hayfever sufferers.
MetService forecaster Dan Corbett said current conditions could definitely be described as spring-like, despite the seasons not officially changing until September 1.
The average temperature for this time of year was 13C, but Wellington had been regularly hitting 15C and 16C lately, and sometimes 17C, he said.
Most of the capital's weather this month had been coming from the north, northeast and northwest, with only about four big cold fronts all winter.
However, there was often one last cold snap that would come through in September, so winter might not be finished yet, he said.
Botanic Gardens manager David Sole said there were more flowers than usual, and the lack of colder snaps and wind meant the blooms were lasting longer.
Tulip bulbs were starting to push up and early daffodils were also appearing but the big bloomers were rhododendrons, magnolias, azaleas and camellias.
Staff were still on the lookout for any frosts that could burn young buds, especially on roses that were bursting early, he said.
Pharmacist Joanna Turner, of Radius Pharmacy in Lambton Quay, said the milder weather had advanced the hayfever season. "It's the unseasonable amount of pollen from pine trees."
There had already been an upswing in hayfever sufferers coming in for antihistamine tablets and nasal sprays.
She warned that the symptoms of a cold were often similar to hayfever and advised people to seek treatment advice from a doctor or pharmacist.
Meanwhile, Greater Wellington Regional Council warned people not to confuse dustings of yellow tree pollen with pollutants.
The pollen could collect in a yellow sludge on top of water but was not a health threat and was good for aquatic life.
"However, if people do come across a yellow sludge and are not sure what they are seeing, we'd rather be notified in case it is something harmful," council spokesman Alistair Cross said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Is John Banks' upcoming trial the end for the ACT party?Related story: Banks takes only viable option