Coldest October in over 25 years
4:00AM Monday Nov 02, 2009
By Eloise Gibson

New Zealanders have just shivered through the coldest October in more than 25 years - not long after they enjoyed the warmest August on record, says a climate analyst.

After a winter of wild swings, temperatures are expected to be closer to normal in November, December and January.

The October mean temperature of 10.7C was 1.4C below average making it the coldest October since 1982, climate scientist Jim Salinger has calculated.

The heavy snow that trapped motorists and surprised Hawkes Bay farmers on October 4 and 5 was the latest spring snow of its kind to hit the North Island since 1951, he said.

Dr Salinger, a former Niwa scientist who now works as a climate expert for farmers' pay channel Country 99 TV, said October was very wet in Gisborne and Hawkes Bay - with each recording twice the usual rainfall for the month - while the South Island's West Coast got only half of its usual dose of rain.

More here.