Westerlies to dominate this week

This week is set to be dominated by westerlies and changeable weather. File photo.

The end of the working week brought some much-needed settled weather, which also saw a warm air mass dragged over from Australia push temperatures in the South Island to above average.

A southwest flow which covered the country midweek brought showers to exposed parts of the country, mainly the far south of the South Island.

As a ridge of high pressure started to build over New Zealand the flow turned more southerly with the showers setting their sights on the eastern parts of both Islands. By Thursday the ridge of high pressure was positioned over the country with winds dying out and only a few showers lingering in Gisborne.

Accompanied with the settled weather, the warm air mass that originated over Australia travelled over the Tasman Sea and ended up over the South Island by Thursday. Obviously having travelled over the ocean the air mass was not as hot as in Australia but still produced some impressive above average temperatures for the southern part of the South Island.

“The hottest place in New Zealand was Cromwell for two days running, reaching 28C on Thursday and 29C on Friday,” says meteorologist Kyle Lee. “Other places worth mentioning was Clyde, which reached 27.6C on Thursday and 28.1C on Friday, while Alexander reached 27.5C on Thursday and 28C on Friday.”

The warm temperatures and settled winds made for a great start to the long weekend, but on Saturday the settled weather ended as a front reached New Zealand. The front travelled across the South Island and southern part of the North Island on Saturday.

Looking ahead, a low pressure forming over the Tasman Sea today is set to bring some wet weather for the northern part of the North Island tomorrow. Some areas could see a period of heavier rain and possible thunderstorms, especially in the eastern Bay of Plenty, with a heavy rain Watch being issued for this area tomorrow. The South Island will also see some wet weather as a front lingers on the west coast and a southerly change brings showers to the east coast.

The short working week ahead will see some changeable weather with westerlies dominating the country. Although settled at times, another active front is set to cross the country on Wednesday and Thursday bringing more wet weather.



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The moon peeping through the clouds at Pillans Point. Photo: Mike Berry.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz