You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘heat wave’ bandied about in the news, and perhaps wondered what exactly it means. Does one hot day constitute a heat wave? And how hot is hot? Does New Zealand really get that many heat waves? If you’ve ever found yourself wondering about these things, then look no further!
The story of summer 2012/13 was rain, or rather the lack of it. Drought was declared for the North of the country on the 27th February, shortly followed by the rest of the North Island and parts of the South Island. The prolonged dry spell was due to presence of large lingering areas of high pressure that dominated the weather across New Zealand. These areas of high pressure acted as blocks, sitting over the country while areas of low pressure, and their associated rainfall, skirted either side of the country.