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Above the clouds ... A view of Ohau Snow Fields from the top of the chairlift. PHOTO: OHAU SNOW FIELDS

Rain over the weekend came as a welcome respite after the driest June on record for Oamaru.

Just 1mm of rain was recorded in the North Otago town for the entire month.

It was also the fourth-warmest June on record, with an average temperature of 7.6degC.

So far, this month is on track to be the second-warmest July on record – averaging 8degC.

With the sea temperatures in the region about 3degC higher than usual, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research meteorologist Ben Noll said it was a sign the planet was warming.

“Cold winters and colder days and colder weeks will still happen but in a warming earth they will happen less and less,” Mr Noll said.

“When you play the percentages over time we will have more winters that are like 2019.

“The trend line is pointing up – the consequences have been well established.”

The second half of winter would likely continue to be dry, with more westerly winds than normal predicted, he said.

“The executive summary would be more of the same as we go into August.

“The month of September can be a bit of a wildcard, that is one we have been keeping an eye on for a while as one that can buck the trend.

Awakino Skifield has been forced to delay its opening.

The skifield’s secretary David Campbell said after a slow start to the season, he was hoping it would be open by early to mid August.

He said another foot or so of snow would be enough.

“It has been cold and frosty, but that doesn’t bring much snow.”

Faring better was Ohau Snow Fields.

Owner-operator Mike Neilson said his skifield was part of the northwest weather system which operated about 60km either side of Mt Cook.

“It has been a great start to the season. There was a lot of snow being made at the start of the season to get started, but we have been right since then.”

The school holidays had been as busy as ever, he said.

“Our numbers are good this year, it has been very busy so far.”