Goldilocks heat just perfect for our mood
Wellington's close to perfect weatherMATT STEWART, SHANE COWLISHAW AND JO MOIR
If you've been feeling blissfully calm lately, it could be down to Wellington's stunning Goldilocks summer - not too hot, and not too cold.
Victoria University psychology lecturer Ronald Fischer said research suggested that about 22 degrees Celsius was the perfect temperature for humans to co-exist happily and peacefully.
Wellington was not far off that ideal, with an afternoon average of 20.4C between December and February.
Cranking the heat up often led to spikes in violence and aggression, while colder temperatures could push up rates of depression, Dr Fischer said.
"The temperatures we've had are pretty perfect for humans to live."
And it's been even more perfect in Wellington because of the absence of wind, Niwa says.
All the main centres had a good summer, but "Wellington was the nicest because of the lack of wind, and it was unusual for having such an extended spell", scientist Georgina Griffiths said.
The winds were kept in check by the ridge of a blocking high settling in over Cook Strait and the capital.
"The blocking high is a big beast, it just sits there and sends off storm systems. It's kind of like a prop forward, it pushes off anything that comes in," she said.
Today marks the end of summer, but forecasters are picking another week of fine weather.
A weak system on the east coast could bring some showers to Wairarapa this weekend but another high would appear next week, MetService forecaster Dan Corbett said.
But showers would probably follow, with a normal autumn weather pattern bedding in over the next two to four weeks.
The Niwa seasonal outlook predicts a mild autumn with temperatures expected to stay near normal in the central North Island, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu and Wellington.
The good news for farmers and growers is that rainfall should be near normal too. However, because of the prolonged dry spell, soil moisture levels and river flows are expected to take some time to recover.
SUMMER BY THE NUMBERS
Kelburn 28.6C, airport 29.6C, Wallaceville 29.3C
Mean temperature 16.9 degrees Celsius, or 0.4C above average
Mean afternoon temperature 20.4C at Kelburn, or 0.6C above average
768 hours of bright sunshine, provisionally the capital's fifth sunniest summer
Long, hot summer just perfect for unwanted creepy-crawlies
Cockroaches, spiders and fleas are infesting Wellington homes as the indian summer provides perfect breeding conditions.
Hot temperatures and long summer days had prompted insects of all kinds to multiply, Wellington Pest Management part-owner Darren Labrum said.
"Generally all insects have increased with the indian summer, but particularly noticeable is the number of white-tail spiders around.
"The white-tail is a predator and if there are more insects around then predator numbers multiply.
"Until the temperature drops at night to below 10 degrees for a period of time, then the breeding will continue and we'll keep being flat out," he said.
Fleas have been a real problem in many homes this summer, and Pestproof Pest Control's Paul Chapman said it was the rare human flea that had been causing havoc.
"The human flea is a lot bigger than your usual cat or dog flea and tends to live in the seams of mattresses, much like bed bugs.
"I've had at least two calls a day about fleas this summer, and a few businesses have had issues as well," he said.
- The Dominion Post
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