‘Freezing’ spell is blanket weather

Thursday July 06, 2017 Written by Published in Local
The Met Offi ce’s weather gauge is set on low. 17070523 The Met Offi ce’s weather gauge is set on low. 17070523

Tourists have been pulling up extra blankets and locals have been putting on their woolly jerseys this week as Rarotonga experiences a “cold spell” in our usually balmy tropical weather.

For the locals it’s been “freezing”– for the visitors “refreshing”. Holidaymakers have been observed wearing wetsuits in Muri Lagoon and locals have been seen with beanie hats and puff jackets on their motor scooters. The truth of the matter is that at the moment tropical Rarotonga is about as far away from the sun as it can possibly get and that means the heater control nob is on cool for the next few weeks. Things started cooling down notably during June with nightly minimum temperatures ranging from 19C to 23C. So far this month the coolest moment this “winter” was when the mercury “plummeted” to 16.9C on Saturday, June 24.  Last Sunday and Monday it was down to around 17C again in the early hours of the mornings. However, this can’t be compared to Rarotonga’s all-time low of 13C, recorded in 1975. Or again in June 2014 when the Met Service’s temperature gauge slumped to a “chilling” 13.7C, making local headlines. The coldest temperature ever recorded in all of the Cook Islands was 9C in Mangaia, also on that historic day in 1975. A note to those New Zealand visitors who brought their wetsuits with them, the best month to swim in the sea is in February when the average sea temperature is 28C. February is the hottest month in Rarotonga with an average temperature of 27C and the coldest is July at 23C. Anyway, visitors from New Zealand can’t be complaining about the “cold” – back home, below average temperatures are being forecast for all of July with temperatures of -7C and below expected last night in the lower South Island. Auckland has been warm in comparison, dropping down to 10C yesterday, where it unfortunately rained on yesterday’s America’s Cup victory parade for Team New Zealand.

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