More south westerly winds than normal from the direction of Antarctica are behind the absence of a golden summer for many in New Zealand, according to scientists.
The holiday weather has proved to be explosive, with strong winds and rain ripping through parts of the country, bringing down trees and power lines in Auckland and forcing rivers to rise in Nelson.
"The big reason is we've had more south westerly winds than normal. So it's a bit unusual as you can imagine, Antarctica's to the south, it's not a warm place, so winds from that direction," said Neva Fedaeff, NIWA climate scientist.
Snow in Central Otago is a stark contrast to last summer which had some of the warmest temperatures on record.
"Not off to a good start if you like warmth. But you know with climate change the overall trend is for warming temperatures. But it doesn't mean that you're not going to get a cold year or a cold start to a year," Mr Fedaeff said.
There's been good beach weather in areas like Northland where the dry conditions mean water is running out. But that's not so good for farmers.
Next weekend, Auckland's anniversary, will see more settled weather rolling in, meaning much more time at the beach.
"It's almost like sitting at the circus waiting for the fat lady to sing. We are just seeing some hints or the whites of the eyes of slightly more settled weather," said Dan Corbett, 1 NEWS meteorologist.