Friday, March 01, 2019

Welcome to Autumn 2019

Today is the first day of Autumn in this part of the world. The seasons here begin on the first of the month, not on the equinox or solstice, so today is the day. Still, the good news is that summery weather usually continues through March, so the summery feel isn’t quite over, even if the season is.

NIWA (the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) has said (among other things) that:
  • Mean temperatures are forecast to be above average for all of New Zealand.
  • The continuation of warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the Tasman Sea as well as a central based El NiƱo may contribute extra warmth, moisture, and increased risk for occasional heavy rainfall events this autumn season, although long dry spells are forecast to begin the season.
As it happens, March is usually mild, which is why the date we change our clocks back to NZ Standard Time was moved to April (April 7 this year)—so we can have more evenings while the weather is still pleasant. In most years, the end of March begins the slow march into Winter, which will begin on July 1.

We have some outdoors things we need to get done, like mending the fences (which makes it sound like we live on a farm on the Great Plains or something…), and it’ll be nice to have weather that’s decent, but not too hot, to get that done. As it happens, there are plenty of nice (or, nice enough…) days in winter, too, so it’s not like my homeland where everything stops on Labor Day (and September in the USA is the equivalent of March here). But the weather is definitely better and nicer now than it will be in, say, July.

Still, I like summer. I even like the hot weather everyone else complains about so much, which is mostly because, by my standards, it’s not actually hot. Which is weird because the same standard doesn’t apply to Winter: It’s much a milder season here than in my NW Illinois homeland, but I really feel the cold all the same. I never claimed to be consistent.

So, Autumn is here. Yippee.

And, for anyone who refuses to recognise the reality that our seasons being on the first of the month, the March Equinox will arrive in New Zealand at 10:58am NZDT on March 21, 2019.

The image above is a screenshot of what I posted to my personal Facebook page this morning.

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