Rain is on the way for much of the North Island on Monday, while the South Island will stay mainly dry.
It’s been a warm week for most of New Zealand with a sweltering 35.0C measured at Dunedin airport during Tuesday afternoon - the hottest on record since the station was established in 1972.
“The heat at the start of the week, particularly over eastern regions of the South Island, was a precursor to a low which attempted to cross the country from mid-week,” says MetService meteorologist April Clark.
Northerly winds ahead of the low and clear sunny days on Monday and Tuesday meant temperatures rose to over 30C for many eastern inland areas from Blenheim through to Southland.
“But the beach weather couldn’t last forever,” says April. “The low eventually brought cloud and a period of rain to most of the country from late Wednesday, though temperatures only cooled slightly as continued northerly winds kept the feed of subtropical air over the two Islands going.”
Parts of the upper North Island and the west of the South Island bore the brunt of the rain with 333mm of rain recorded in 24 hours about the western ranges of Nelson. Of the towns, Kaitaia and Inglewood also saw a good dose of rain measuring 49.9mm and 42.0mm respectively over the course of a day.
The low weakened and moved away to the northwest on Saturday as it stalled against a broad high to the east of New Zealand. This allowed the sun and hot temperatures to return for most parts over the weekend.
For the coming week, the low will remain over the Tasman Sea, directing more warm air over the country. This is forecast to bring rain to the North Island on Monday, this gives way to finer conditions later in the week though showers with thunderstorms are possible on Tuesday. The South Island is looking to keep mostly dry on the first day of the working week, but a few heavy showers are expected over inland areas and a front in the far south brings rain to Fiordland.