Blowing hot and cold

Spring snow on Takaro Rd near Te Anau turns to an unexpected winter wonderland.
Spring snow on Takaro Rd near Te Anau turns to an unexpected winter wonderland.

Southland has had its warmest winter on record but the start of spring is proving chilly.

Niwa issued its winter statistics yesterday, which show record high mean temperatures for winter throughout the South Island.

Niwa principal scientist Dr Brett Mullan said mean temperatures in Southland and parts of Otago were more than 1.2 degrees Celsius above the winter average.

The nationwide mean temperature was also 1.2C above the winter average, making it New Zealand's warmest winter on record since 1909, he said.

However, spring has brought a cool change.

MetService has forecast a wintry blast, which will bring snow to near sea level in Southland and Otago today.

Southland Federated Farmers president Russell MacPherson said farmers would expect some lamb deaths.

Some farmers would be busy bringing newborn lambs and their mothers into shelter, he said.

The Southland Times