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King’s Birthday Weekend Weather

Covering period of Thursday 30 May - Monday 3 June

MetService is forecasting the long weekend to be calm over most of the North Island, but unseasonably warm temperatures, gales, and heavy rain herald in the first day of meteorological winter for the South Island.

After yesterday ‘s severe weather, Auckland will no doubt welcome a settled weekend. The lightning network detected 994 lightning strikes over the Auckland region in the 24-hour period to 6am Thursday, and wind gusts of 148 km/h recorded in the Hauraki Gulf on Wednesday evening. This morning (Thursday) was a more welcome start to the day over the upper North Island as the gale southwesterly winds of Wednesday eased and the sun shone on in blue skies.

The calm weather is forecast to continue in those areas for King’s Birthday Weekend – but it is a different story elsewhere.

MetService meteorologist Clare O’Connor comments: “The upper North Island can expect calm, settled weather for the long weekend and the beginning of meteorological winter – a great opportunity to breathe and relax after the events of the last day.”

“In the South Island however, a developing northwesterly flow is going to bring heavy rain to Fiordland and the ranges of Westland from late Friday, and strong winds to the east of the South Island.”

Strong Wind and Heavy Rain Watches are already in place for an incoming warm, moist northwesterly flow, beginning with a Strong Wind Watch in Fiordland and western Southland late Friday evening. The northwesterly flow over the Southern Alps will result in high rainfall on the west of the mountains, and windy, warm conditions in the east – a typical foehn effect.

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Temperatures in Canterbury and Otago are forecast to reach 19 to 20°C on Friday and Saturday, almost 6°C above average for the time of the year. A switch to southerly winds again late Saturday sees the system tracking north over the lower North Island and anyone in the area is advised to prepare ahead – especially those heading away for the long weekend. Hawke’s Bay will be the place to be on the weekend, with maximum temperatures forecast of 23°C on Saturday.

Temperatures return to usual on Sunday in the South Island with mostly clear skies and the lower North Island should also clear by late Sunday. Monday looks to be the best of the weekend across Aotearoa: a beautiful winter’s day.

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