Chilly start to autumn: NIWA forecasts possible cold winter ahead with El Nino

Chilly start to autumn: NIWA forecasts possible cold winter ahead with El Nino

Snow has fallen, temperatures are plummeting and you want to stay wrapped up in bed in the mornings… we hate to say it but the cold season is coming.

MetService warned Wednesday morning could be "the coldest morning of the year so far" for many across the South Island.

Speaking to Tova O'Brien Wednesday morning, NIWA forecaster Ben Knoll explained the weather we are seeing right now and previewed what weather could be on the cards.

"At our climate stations, [Wednesday] was the coldest morning of the year," Noll said.

"We've had a really strong southerly move up the country… Central Otago had -1! So it feels like Autumn has well and truly arrived.  

"Some of these temperatures are more typical of late May or early June, so you might even say [it's] an early taste of winter right across the country."

Noll said this winter might be a bit colder than the last three ones Aotearoa has experienced, with the possibility of an El Nino winter this year. 

"El Nino winters tend to bring more southerly winds for New Zealand and if we have more southerly winds - that's a cold wind direction - it could mean more weather patterns like we are experiencing right now," he said.

"The last three winters, we've had a trio of record warm winters so if you do a little bit of crystal ball gazing, perhaps not quite as warm this winter as recent winters… maybe a bit of a contrast.

"But it's still a few months out and our climate outlook for winter, we'll issue that in just a few months."

Listen to the full interview between Ben Noll and Tova above.

You can also download the full interview on the Tova podcast, and listen on the go. 

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