Scientist's 40-plus forecast loses heat

18:26, Jan 30 2013

The climate scientist who tipped 40-degree temperatures along the east coast has now poured cold water on his own predictions.

Jim Salinger revised his outlook yesterday after tipping the possibility of 40C-plus temperatures from Hawke's Bay to Timaru.

He said on Tuesday that the heatwave was being buoyed by gentle northwesterlies and warm air clashing with the tailend of tropical cyclone Oswald, mirroring conditions that created the hottest day yet recorded, of 42.4C in Rangiora on February 7, 1973.

However, cooler atmospheric conditions had since prevailed, he said.

The temperature in Hawke's Bay reached the mid-20s yesterday, well short of Dr Salinger's predictions.

But the recent fine spell prompted him to suggest moving forward the dates of the school summer holidays, to take advantage of better weather.

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"The problem is Christmas Day - I'd like to declare it as the 25th of January."

HOT AND HOTTER

Yesterday's national high: Alexandra and Murchison 33C

The Dominion Post