Auckland notches up its warmest June 21 night as winter solstice feels more like spring

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1 NEWS

Auckland has just had its warmest June 21st night in history as the year's shortest day clocked up record-breaking high temperatures.

The Southern Hemisphere had its winter solstice yesterday when the sun was at its farthest point north of the equator.

While you'd think that would mean colder temperatures, the mercury recorded numbers more typical of mid-April than June.

Today the mercury recorded numbers more typical of mid-April than June.
Source: 1 NEWS

NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll said if the overnight temperature in Auckland didn't fall below 13.5 degrees Celsius, it would be the city's warmest June 21st night in history.

The temperature dipped to a positively balmy 16 degrees. 

Earlier in the day, Waipara in North Canterbury climbed to 19 degrees, beating its old daily record of 18.8. 

Kaikoura, Napier, Hastings, Tokoroa and Auckland all had highs of 18, while Whangarei notched up 19 degrees and nearby Marsden Point hit 20.

The solstices - summer and winter - are determined by the Earth's tilt and the sun's alignment and yesterday the amount of daylight for New Zealand was its lowest point.

Mr Noll said Auckland had about nine hours and 38 minutes daylight, while Invercargill had about eight hours and 35 minutes.

The unseasonable warmth has left nature confused, with blossoms blooming in some areas.

"We had an El Nino and we have very warm ocean temperatures around New Zealand. So these things are all working together to create this anomalous, unusually warm pattern," Mr Noll said. 

If you thought the day was short, spare a thought for New Zealanders wintering over at Scott Base in Antarctica who won't see any sun until August.

Scott Base winter leader Andy Waters talked to ONE News yesterday, saying it was midday in Antarctica on the shortest day of the year and "there's no sun".

"At the moment it is minus 30 degrees celsius, windchill of about minus 45 degrees," he said.

For New Zealanders at home, our days will be getting lighter from today and if you're an optimist, you could say summer's on the way.

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