In Lake Tekapo, we experience a high number of clear days (and nights!); However, this is still Aotearoa (the Māori name for New Zealand, meaning Land of the Long White Cloud). There's an old saying that if you don't like the weather here, just wait five minutes and it will probably change! It's important to keep this in mind when planning your trip. Tekapo also has its own unique microclimate, so commercial weather predictions will often be incorrect. Please allow for some flexibility when planning a trip to the region.
What are the current conditions?
The accompanying diagrams may seem incredibly technical, but they’re quite easy to interpret. The first thing you may notice is that the date and times on the graphs don’t correspond to the local time here in New Zealand. This is because astronomers use one time zone to make comparing observations from all over the world, a little easier. Universal Time is a global time reference based on the rotation of the Earth and loosely coincides with Greenwich Mean Time in England. Universal Time is 12 hours behind New Zealand Standard Time, or 13 hours behind New Zealand Daylight Time.
Humidity and temperature
The first graph shows humidity levels, while the second one shows temperature and dew point. When the black and blue lines meet, dew starts to form on the ground, and dew clouds can appear very quickly.
The pink circle in the compass dial shows the prevailing wind direction, while the number in the centre is the wind speed in metres per second (m/s). The pink and black dots in the graph show how the wind direction and wind speed have varied over time. Any figure in excess of 10 m/s will mean it is too windy for the MOA telescope to operate.
This weather data is generously supplied to us by MOA2.
Earth & Sky will not conduct Mt. John Tours when the wind speed is consistently above 20 m/s. During the daytime, the Astro-Café (including the Mt. John access road) will be closed if the wind speed continuously exceeds 25 m/s — it’s just not pleasant or safe to walk around the summit under those conditions.