Quiet now, but the heat's coming
4:00AM Wednesday Oct 01, 2008

Our sun during what scientists call a solar minumum. Photo / Nasa

That lucky old sun ain't got nothing to do this summer ... except keep us warm.

Our star has been having a quiet time lately. Its surface has shown few of the active spots that keep scientists busy, and the "solar wind" radiation that streams from it is at a 50-year low.

When Nasa took this photo, the sun could muster only one spot of surface activity for the satellite cameras.

American scientists call this lack of activity a "solar minimum".

But New Zealand's weather forecasters believe the sun will be turning on the heat for us this summer.

They say spring and early summer are likely to be settled and drier than normal.

And they are predicting above-average temperatures all over the country.

More here.