A warm start to the new decade
“A large area of high pressure over the Tasman Sea builds a welcome ridge of high pressure over Aotearoa from New Year’s Eve onwards,” comments MetService meteorologist Andy Best, “with warm temperatures expected in most regions, but especially for those in the north and east.”
Conditions are forecast to be mostly fine and settled on New Year’s Eve, although any coastal showers from Gisborne to Wairarapa and drizzle patches about the Canterbury Plains will clear early. The remainder of the country sees a few early morning clouds then a fine sunny day. Although the Southland region will see an overall average high of 26C, individual centres are expected to be much higher, with Invercargill reaching 29C, Wanaka 31C and Alexandra 32C all due to strengthening northwest winds ahead of an approaching warm front. North Island maxima on Tuesday will be around the mid-twenties.
New Year’s Day sees continued settled weather, with light winds for most places, but the approaching warm front is expected to bring scattered rain to Fiordland, Otago and Southland. The warmest temperatures push north on Wednesday, affecting Canterbury Marlborough and Nelson, as well as eastern parts of the North Island. Christchurch can expect a maximum of 33C, while both Ashburton and Blenheim bask in 34C (more than 10 degrees above average for this time of the year) and Nelson a warm 27C. Whanganui rises to 26C, as does Dannevirke and Taupo while Tauranga and Whangarei can expect a high of 28C.
Thursday sees showers spread to most South Island places, although Nelson and Marlborough see just high cloud. Blenheim is still hot, with a maximum of 30C, while remaining South Island centres stay in the mid to low twenties, about average for this time of year. The North Island stays fine and settled, apart from a few cloudy areas in the west. Masterton can expect a high of 31C, with 29C for Kerikeri, Tauranga and Rotorua.
Friday brings a change to a cooler southwest flow, as a front sweeps up the country. However, temperatures stay about average for this time of year, looking to reach the mid to high 20’s in the upper half of the North Island, in the low 20’s around central New Zealand and the high teens for much of the South Island with Gore only reaching 15 degrees, and Christchurch 21C.