More volatile weather good for grizzlers

Stuff reports – Volatile weather ‘the new normal’.

Get used to it. That “once in 20 years” freak storm is forecast to happen again sooner than you think.

Experts say the wild weather of recent months – heavy snowstorms and flooding in the South Island, and stormy winds in Wellington – is the new normal, and the country needs to prepare for more temperamental weather as the climate warms.

Based on median predictions for temperature increases over the next century, New Zealand’s climate will get drier in some regions, wetter in others, and higher winds and more cyclones will occur, Niwa says.

Extreme winds are likely to increase across New Zealand in winter and decrease in summer, especially for the Wellington region and the eastern South Island.

In many parts of the North Island and the eastern parts of the South Island longer droughts are expected.

“We might expect to see, not every year, but on average another couple of weeks of drought each year,” said David Wratt, Niwa chief scientist.

Wratt warned the wisest thing to do for New Zealand was to was “plan accordingly”.

This should be popular – grizzling about the weather is a major national pastime.

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