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weather by the moon Long-range forecaster Ken Ring predicts summer will start and finish late

The first summer month, December, may be wetter than average but with average sunshine hours, and possibly more sunshine hours than January. Most rain comes in the second week of the month and then around Christmas, which may make the statutory holidays a washout. Camping and outdoor festivals or events may be affected.

With king tides right on Christmas, there may be some slight flooding of drains. It may be advisable to secure boats until the weather eases after Boxing Day. The sunniest spell in December may be the 15th-22nd. Temperatures do not vary much from those in the previous two months and overall the month should be average to warmer. Daily maximums may average around 20-22C and minimums 11-14C. The warmest week is the fourth week.

Wind systems in December should be mostly from southwest with some days from the northwest and with a brief period of north-easterlies bringing that Christmas rain. The first week is likely to be the windiest. The barometer is at its lowest around the 26th and highest around the 18th-19th, averaging 1011mbs for the month, which is on the wetter side. The highest December tides at Cornwallis are on the 22nd-25th and there is a lesser king-tide on the 8th. The Titirangi Market Day on the 14th may be wet.

The best fishing bite times of the month are likely to be around noon during the 5th-8th and 21st-23rd. There are also better-than-average bite chances around the dusks of the 1st, 13th-16th and 28th-30th. For gardeners, there are no best days for pruning this month and the 5th is best for planting. Recommended days for harvesting crops are the 15th-17th.

Overall January brings more than average rain. The first week is dry and the first and heaviest of the month's anticipated two rain systems is at or near the 9th-10th. The second rain system is around the 21st-22nd, which is also a large king-tide period, being the fourth highest for 2015.

January sunshine is expected to be below average. The sunniest period may be the 22nd-31st and dry spells for the month may be around the 3rd-7th, 14th-19th and 23rd-27th. January may be average to cooler overall. Maximums may average 20-23C and minimums 13-15C. The warmest week is the second week.

January sees more north-easterlies than in December, especially

during the second and fourth weeks, but south-westerlies may feature on most other days. The windiest week is likely to be the fourth week. As to air pressures, the first week has the highest with the lowest barometer reading around the 22nd. The overall average for the month may be 1015mbs which is around the cusp of the wet threshold. The highest tides at Cornwallis are 21st-24th. There is a lesser king-tide on the 6th. The Titirangi Market Day on the 25th should be dry but with passing showers expected within 24 hours.

Best fishing bite times of the month are around midday during the 4th-7th and 19th-22nd. There are also better-than-average bite chances around the dusks of the 12th-15th and 26th-28th. For gardeners, the best day for planting is the 3rd and, for pruning, the 19th-20th. Recommended days for harvesting crops are the 15th and 29th.

December and January are both months with useful dry spells punctuated by short periods of heavy downpours, with more rain for those further to the west. However, February should be dry and sunny, particularly for the whole first half of the month which will be mostly rain- free for most of the country. February rain mostly arrives in the second half of the month. Remnants of cyclones combined with unusually high tides will be a feature of the first four months of 2015, particularly in the fourth week of March when the tide will be the second highest for 2015. Heat wave temperatures may arrive in the first and last weeks of February and through to mid March. Some of the season's highest temperatures, possibly over 30C, will be in the second week of March and will generate heat showers. The second week of April is also dry, with temperatures still 20-25C.

Once it gets going it will be a great summer. Hope you enjoy it! Allow 24 hour leeway for all forecasts. Ken’s book for next year, Predict

Weather Almanac and Isobaric Maps 2015 (Random House), is available from Titirangi Post Shop. © Ken Ring 2014.

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