Southland's summer has gone to the dogs

Ozzie the dog was happy to see floodwater at Waikaia on Monday - but no-one else was.
Rachael Kelly

Ozzie the dog was happy to see floodwater at Waikaia on Monday - but no-one else was.

Snow. Rain. Gales. Flooding.

It's been a summer to remember so far in the south for all the wrong reasons - and according to NIWA, it may set a couple of new records.

NIWA climate scientist Nava Fedaeff said so far this January, Gore was on track to set to record it's lowest ever average maximum temperature.

"The average high temperature is 16.4 degrees, which is 2.8 degrees colder than average."

"January has been much colder than average, and December was average for the South Island as well."

Balclutha was on track to rewrite the record books with its lowest average maximum temperature and Invercargill was tracking to record its second lowest average January cold spell, she said.

"It will take a couple of days of decent weather to change that and that's not looking likely in the forecast.

The south-westerly winds have been plaguing Southland, but you're not alone there, it's been the same everywhere."

But according to Fedaeff, things may improve next month.

"February should be a lot more settled and warmer than January, but predicting what happens in the next couple of months is hard."

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NIWA's Seasonal Climate Outlook to the end of March predicts westerly winds will be the dominant factor in our weather.

It also predicts near average temperatures, rainfall totals, soil moisture levels and river flows for Southland.

The Metservice is predicting the wet weather we've had will continue.

Saturday is the only day without rain in a 10-day forecast for Gore issued by the Metservice on Wednesday.

This week's heavy rain, which caused the Waikaia and Mataura Rivers to burst their banks, prompted the Gore District Council to cancel level two water restrictions.

Federated Farmers Southland president Alan Baird said despite the recent rain farmers should be "reasonably happy" with conditions.

"Things on the farming front were getting a little bit dry, especially north of Gore, but there's plenty of supplement growth about.

"Farmers know there is always a dry pinch around the New Year period, but we haven't seen the clover growth this year and that has made finishing off lambs difficult."

 

 - Stuff

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