Changeable conditions this past week, fine ahead

Papamoa. Photo: Chris Taylor


MetService meteorologist Andy Best says that this past week has seen some changeable conditions, but looking ahead, conditions will become more settled and mostly fine.

“A broad ridge of high pressure covered much of New Zealand on Monday, bringing fine weather to the entire country, with light winds and early morning frosts,” says Andy.

“Tuesday saw a marked change in conditions, as an active frontal system moved onto the country from the Tasman Sea, preceded by strong northwesterly winds together with a band of rain then showers, as the front moved northeast. Auckland Airport recorded 22.2mm of rain and winds gusts of 57km per hour during Tuesday.”

On Wednesday, we had to deal with a front moving eastwards across the North Island, while a new frontal system approached the South Island from the west.

Thursday saw New Zealand under the influence of unstable, blustery westerly winds and thunderstorms along an active front, as the front crossed the North Island. Auckland Airport recorded 39.3mm of rain, Gisborne Airport 34mm, Wellington Airport 9.1mm.

A broad trough of low pressure spread over central and southern New Zealand on Friday, while fronts continued to influence the upper North Island. The South Island stayed mainly dry east of the Divide, apart from a few showers which developed behind a southwest change through southern Southland.

Finally, on Saturday, a deepening area of low pressure east of the North Island delivered a cool southwest change over the country, with rain and showers affecting eastern parts of the island. Gisborne reported 7.2mm of rain on Saturday, accompanied by cool southwesterlies gusting 57km per hour at times.

Looking to the week ahead, on Monday a broad low pressure trough east of the South Island is forecast to bring very strong westerly winds over central and northern New Zealand. There are currently Strong Wind and Heavy Rain Watches in force for parts of the lower North Island and upper South Island.

More settled weather is expected on Tuesday, as a ridge builds over the country from the west, and showers become few and far between.

On Wednesday, the ridge is expected to drift north over the North Island, bringing fine weather to most places after a cool start, with frosts likely over the central North Island. Northwesterlies spread up the South Island during Wednesday ahead of a front, which moves through Otago around the middle of the day, followed by cool southwesterlies.

Finally, on Friday, we expect a broad ridge of high pressure to dominate much of Aotearoa, resulting in mostly fine conditions.

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