The Press: Canterbury drought likely, say forecasters

Paul Gorman, of The Press, reports that current conditions in Canterbury, namely strong winds as well as high temperatures, are bringing the threat of a drought in the region ever closer.

The region seems set to continue experiencing unusually dry weather as well as high-than-normal temperatures (see here for NIWA’s climate outlook) – Timaru had its hottest September day in over 120 years on Monday.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“‘I think it is a dry outlook and I think that horrible D word [drought] will be close to people’s lips by the end of the year,’ [Blue Skies Weather forecaster Tony] Trewinnard said.

“‘Everything’s early. That’s been the case with all our seasons this year.

“‘Our autumn started early, winter started early with that cold, stormy May, spring started at the end of July or beginning of August, and now we’re getting almost summer temperatures and it’s only September.’

“He expected warm west to northwesterly weather this month, but more settled weather was possible next month.

“‘I still expect it to stay quite dry; then in November I suspect the north-westerlies will crank up again,’ he said.

“‘Where we head to after that, I wouldn’t mind betting December remains drier and that people will be starting to talk about drought.

“‘By then we’ll have had three or four months of low rainfall, high temperatures and sunshine and northwest winds.'”