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Science doesn't back holiday move

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/01/2017 Sean Martin
The average temperatures in January and February only differ by about a degree, says NIWA climate scientist Nava Fedaeff. © BROKER/REX/Shutterstock The average temperatures in January and February only differ by about a degree, says NIWA climate scientist Nava Fedaeff.

The idea of shifting the summer holidays to February because the weather is better isn't a no brainer if weather statistics are anything to go by.

The average temperatures in January and February only differ by about a degree, says NIWA climate scientist Nava Fedaeff.

"While February is generally warmer and drier for most of us, it's not the same all over New Zealand," she says.

Gisborne and Masterton on average have wetter and cooler Februarys.

In Whangarei the average maximum temperature is 24.3C in both January and February.

In Auckland it's 0.6C higher in February than January, while Timaru is 0.7C cooler in February than January.

Last February was the second warmest on record for New Zealand so people may be influenced by memories of recent summers.

But in 2009 ex-tropical cyclone Innis brought heavy rain, high winds and minor flooding to many parts of New Zealand. Then just a week later another storm affected almost all the North Island, and some of the South Island.

Ms Fedaeff says weather varies from year to year and that's normal.

"Sure it's not as hot as last summer, and the sea is cooler but this is not the start of a new trend."

NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll says the start to February is expected to bring a good deal of settled and warm weather to the North Island and eastern South Island.

A period of unsettled weather may unfold during mid-February.

"While in general the weather will be more typical of summer, the perception may be that it is fantastic - mainly because of how poor it was for many places during the month of January," he says.

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