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Wintery Week Ahead

Covering period of Monday 6th - Friday 10th May

As Aotearoa New Zealand embraces the final month of autumn, MetService is forecasting an extended run of low temperatures, signalling the approach of winter. This week holds in store a mix of biting cold winds and crisp, frosty mornings across much of the country.

"This May marks a stark contrast to last year," notes MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane. "Many may recall the tropical-feeling temperatures of May 2023, where places like Auckland and Hamilton experienced record-breaking warm nights. However, this year, expect an overnight drop to mid-single digits in Auckland City and early morning temperatures hovering near freezing in Hamilton."

The coldest days for the South Island look to be Monday and Thursday, with the chilliest mornings being Thursday in the far south where Queenstown will drop to –1°C, and Friday elsewhere with Christchurch starting the day at -3°C. In the North Island, Thursday and Friday are also expected to be the coldest days, with the chill extending even to the typically temperate regions of Northland and Auckland. Wednesday and Friday morning are anticipated to be the chilliest in the North Island, with -2°C in Taupō on Wednesday and 0°C in Hamilton on Friday morning.

"Frost will be a notable feature this week," adds Makgabutlane. "We’re at that time of year where the nights are longer and combined with this cold air over the country, that frost could last well into the morning on some days."

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This persistent cold is attributed to several cold fronts sweeping northwards across the country, bringing rain and a noticeable drop in temperatures. "These fronts will deliver much of their rain to the eastern parts of both main islands, even extending into eastern Northland," explains Makgabutlane.

Accompanying these fronts are brisk southerly winds, particularly affecting the lower and eastern South Island, as well as the lower North Island. "Between the rain, chilly southerlies, and icy temperatures, it will undoubtedly feel like winter," remarks Makgabutlane. "However, amidst the wintery mix, brighter days are in store, such as on Tuesday and Friday."

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