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Change is in the air

1 July 2019

Winter weather is renowned for wind and rain, but also large blocking high pressures that bring prolonged settled conditions to New Zealand. This week MetService is forecasting both, as an unusually strong high moves away to the east, followed by a blast of wind and rain.

The start of the week still sees the high clinging on. Increasing cloud and northerly winds will mean less frosts, but also the odd shower in the north and rain developing on the West Coast.

On Wednesday a front moves up the South Island, and an Orange Heavy Rain Warning has already been issued for the Westland region for late Tuesday and most of Wednesday. Buller and western Nelson also have Heavy Rain Watches for Wednesday. Rain and strong northerlies can also be expected for the North Island.

Then on Thursday high pressure returns to the South Island, but the front stalls over the upper North Island bringing some heavy falls of rain there, especially for the eastern Bay of Plenty.

There is some disagreement between different weather models as to if the front moves away on Friday, leading to easing showers and southerlies, or whether a deep low forms close to the East Coast.

MetService meteorologist Tom Adams explains: “This latter scenario would keep the rain for much of the eastern North Island, especially the Gisborne region. On the plus side, this set-up would bring a good dump of snow for Mount Ruapehu in time for the school holidays the following week, and some smaller amounts to the Canterbury club fields.”

The uncertainty around these scenarios will be resolved in the next day or two as we approach the event, so keep up to date with forecasts. By Sunday all models have high pressure returning to the country bringing more settled weather.


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