Kiwi’s have suffered an anomalously frigid autumn 2020 thus far, and the latest forecasts reveal things could potentially turn historic by the weekend.
Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll said this coming weekend temperatures could get “very, very cold”, particularly across the South Island.
“We are talking about temperatures as cold as -15C (5F) in some low-lying areas about the alps on Saturday morning, creating some pretty frosty conditions,” continued Noll. “These are some pretty extreme cold anomalies, so no doubt people will have to watch out for things like black ice.”
A reading of -15C would comfortably surpass the coldest temperatures recorded in recent years. Last year, NZ suffered a minimum low of -9.2C (15.4F) which was logged at Lake Tekapo on June 3. In 2018, NZ’s lowest temp was the -10.4C (13.3F) at Mt Cook Airport, also on June 3. And then in 2017, Tekapo dipped to -14.6C (5.7F) on July 29–with that year going down as the nation’s coldest Winter since 2009 (Solar Minimum of cycle 24).
For reference, NZ’s lowest-ever temperature on record was the −25.6C (−14.1F) set at Ranfurly in Otago in 1903 (during the Centennial Minimum), with the nation’s all-time highest temp on record being the 42.4C (108.3F) set at Rangiora in Canterbury in 1973.
This weekend’s coming freeze is in part due an approaching high pressure system — one of the strongest systems on the planet, according to Niwa:
Metservice meteorologist Lewis Ferris told newshub.co.nz, “As we head into the weekend, that high pressure will lock in those colder temperatures.”
The setup is effectively pulling brutal Antarctic air anomalously-far north, and is also expected to deliver NZ another spell of dry weather.
For Auckland, Niwa has forecast dry and settled conditions over the next 7 to 10 days — not good news for farmers and growers in the region that are still dealing with a rainfall deficit of around 240mm this year, reports the nzherald.co.nz.
This Monday morning (June 8), Watercare has reported that Auckland’s dam levels were at 45% capacity, compared with a seasonal average of 77%.
Stay tuned for next weekend’s temperature data… it could indeed prove historic.
Even NASA agrees, if you read between the lines, with their forecast for this upcoming solar cycle (25) seeing it as “the weakest of the past 200 years,” with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift