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The tale of the front and the reluctant ridge

Monday 26 March 2018

The tale of the front and the reluctant ridge

A ridge extends over the upper North Island, bringing fairly settled weather but also some humidity to the North Island from about Hawkes Bay northwards. The ridge seems reluctant to move until at least Thursday. Meanwhile, a major front moves onto the lower South Island tonight, preceded by strong to gale northwesterly winds and heavy rain. Normally, a front like this would spread unheeded up the country, but this front has the ridge to contend with. During Wednesday, the front makes slow progress up the lower North Island, eventually reaching the volcanic plateau late Thursday night.

Here are the prospects for the weather for the current working week (out to Thursday).

For the northern half of the North Island: Cloudy periods through until late Wednesday, with only the chance of a shower. Drizzle develops Wednesday about the volcanic plateau. Thursday sees rain developing south of about Hamilton. Dry in the east apart from rain developing over Hawkes Bay and Gisborne during Thursday.

For the lower North Island: A few cloudy spells for most, but a band of rain spreading from the south during Wednesday, clearing by the end of the day. Rain developing again on Thursday with heavy falls possible, but light rain for Wairarapa. Strengthening northerlies, reaching gale in exposed places on Tuesday.

For the west of the South Island: A band of rain with the front, preceded by strong northerlies. The rain moves north during today and Tuesday, followed by showery southwesterlies, the showers becoming isolated on Wednesday. Fine for most places Thursday, apart from showers for Fiordland.

Finally, for eastern parts of the South Island: Cloudy periods and isolated showers today. Brief rain possible on Tuesday. Mostly fine Wednesday, apart from a few showers for coasts of Southland and Otago and brief early rain for Nelson. Strong northwesterlies ahead of the front, followed by light winds from late Tuesday.

“MetService currently has Heavy Rain Warnings and Watches in effect for western and alpine regions of the South Island. There is also a Strong Wind Watch in effect for Southland, including Stewart Island,” said MetService Meteorologist Andy Best.


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