Foggy mornings continue, but sunny weather this weekend
MetService is forecasting a ridge of high pressure to remain over Aotearoa through the weekend, bringing settled weather. Morning fog continues for some areas and temperatures are mostly normal for this time of year. A front then approaches the South Island late on Sunday.
MetService meteorologist Andrew James explains, “Given we’re in lockdown, it will be a good lift to the spirits to hear that most of the country gets sunny weather this weekend. Some areas will get a grey start to their days, but don’t let that get you down as blue skies will brighten up your afternoons – that’s a good time for that walk around your neighbourhood.”
The main high-pressure cell is far to the southeast of New Zealand and drives a cloudy easterly flow to eastern parts of both islands, and a few light showers for the likes of Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. Farther west, expect patchy cloud or fog morning and night but fine weather in between.
April is one of the best months of the year for fog. Seas around New Zealand retain heat from the sunny days of summer, but longer autumn nights allow for more cooling. With seas surrounding our island nation there is never a shortage of humidity. Add to these conditions, the light winds under a ridge of high pressure and we have the recipe for the foggy mornings we have had this week, which are expected to continue while the ridge remains in place.
The ridge of high pressure begins to break down at the end of the weekend as a front approaches from the Tasman Sea. Temperatures are forecast to rise on Sunday ahead of the front, as northwest winds bring warmer than usual temperatures for eastern parts of the South Island, particularly overnight. Queenstown is expected to start Saturday at a chilly 7C then only dip as far as 12C overnight Sunday, while Timaru and Ashburton manage daytime highs of 23C. The front also brings a spell of wet weather to the western South Island from Monday, but the North Island remains dry through the early part of next week.