This week started off with a ‘bang' in the upper North Island, with good-sized hail and 308 lightning strikes recorded on Tuesday over the Auckland region alone.
MetService meteorologist April Clark says the good news is that the area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere – the ‘culprit' driving these thunderstorms – is forecast to move away from the country on Friday.
“This will allow the low-lying ridge of high pressure to coax north the more settled weather the South Island has been enjoying this week,” she says.
While the North Island is set for finer weather for the last working day of the week, the South Island will see a weak front work its way north over the island. At its worst, this front brings increasing cloud and a few showers to the mainland. Those planning on heading to the final day of the Canterbury A&P Show will need sunscreen for the morning, then cloud is expected to increase from the afternoon with the odd shower possible.
“The weekend is shaping up to be sunny in many places, with another ridge of high pressure coming in hot on the heels of the front that moves over the South Island on Friday.
“However, a low which passes just north of country is forecast to bring scattered light rain or showers to the upper north and east coast of the North Island for a time. Apart from the showers and strong winds that put a dampener on barbeque plans in the north of the North Island, the rest of the country remains largely unaffected by the low.”
Inland regions sheltered from slightly cooler sea breezes are looking at warm top temperatures during the weekend. On Sunday, Te Kuiti, Reefton and Wanaka are all forecast to hit 25C, while Gisborne keeps unseasonably cool in the cloudy onshore flow, heading for a 16C maximum.