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SEMI-TROPICAL WEATHER KICKS IN

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A weekend of “semi tropical” weather has set in with warm, humid conditions bumping the mercury right up across the nation.
 
Temperatures quickly reached 18 and 19 across Northland, Auckland and Waikato this morning, spreading to most North Island places by afternoon.
 
“There is a lot of warm, humid air over the country and with plenty of slow moving high pressure over us it’s not going to move away very fast” says the Radio Network’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan.
 
“Auckland reached 20 degrees today while 21 and 22 were common across Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne.  There were a number of 19 and 18s right over the North Island and northern parts of the South Island”.
 
Duncan says it was 17 degrees in Dunedin, Gore and Invercargill with 18 further inland across Otago.
 
A cool wind kept Christchurch around 13 for much of the day and the Capital only made it to 15.
 
Similar temperatures are expected on Sunday.
 
“A low is expected to form out in the Tasman and with all this humid, warm, air we can probably expect drizzle and light showers over the north and rain on the South Island’s west coast.  We might even see some thunder activity around the middle of the week as the weak low moves over the country”.
 
 
INTERNATIONAL WEATHER CENTRE
Hurricane Humberto, which hit Texas Thursday night NZ time, was the fastest growing Hurricane ever recorded.
 
The storm went from a tropical depression to a hurricane in just 14 hours and weather forecasters can’t explain why they didn’t predict it.  The storm has dumped much needed rain in drought stricken south-eastern states such as Georgia and Florida, but has added more stress to Texas which is facing its wettest Summer in 60 years.  CNN reports that Humberto has claimed one life - that of an 80 year old man who died when his roof collapsed as the Category 1 hurricane made landfall.

 


WARM WEATHER “A TASTE” OF WHAT SUMMER WILL HOLD

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Warm weather across much of the country this weekend could be a taste of what summer will be like.  The Radio Network’s Head Weather Analyst says La Nina weather patterns are forming and basically that means we’ll get opposite weather conditions to last year.  “Last year we were in a strong El Nino weather pattern that brought dry conditions with a lot of westerly winds.  This Spring and Summer we’re likely to have more easterlies which will bringing more humid, warm weather to the nation”.  Duncan says while wintry snow storms are always possible right up until November, the chances of them will be much lower this year.
 
There is a downside though.  La Nina weather patterns remove blocking high pressure systems from the Tasman, shifting them to east of the country.  “This basically opens the door to tropical and sub-tropical lows forming, then often they are slow moving over New Zealand because of these highs to the east.  Northern New Zealand was dominated by several rain bearing lows during winter that formed in this area”.
 
More warm weather is expected over the North Island this week, with cold nights in the South Island easing in the next couple of days.  “A low in the Taman will slowly organise itself this week and will move over the nation around Thursday bringing rain and a slight dip in temperatures – although nothing too significant”.   Duncan says the low isn’t expected to be very intense.

 


NORTH WARM, FAR SOUTH COLD

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The North Island is again busking in higher temperatures as a ridge of high pressure continues to trap warm air over the island. 
 
“It’s currently 22 degrees in the Bay of Islands and Auckland has been up to 19 and 20 today” says Philip Duncan, head weather analyst at the Radio Network.
 
He says Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne are also both around 20 this afternoon.
 
But the South Island’s warm spell has come to an abrupt end thanks to a small low off the south east coast.  “The low has just been fuelling some cooler winds over the southern part of the country with Gore and Invercargill only on about 9 or 10”.  Warmer weather is likely to return in the next 24 hours however, as the south west winds turn more westerly.
 
And after a slightly cooler weekend in Christchurch a southerly has oddly enough today delivered a temperature of 17.

 


MORE SETTLED SPRING WEATHER ON THE WAY

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More calm weather is on the way for New Zealand this weekend and right into next week.
 
The Radio Network’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says a very large high pressure zone will spread across the Tasman Sea and much of New Zealand this weekend.  “That means a very calm weekend but there could be a few isolated showers here and there”.  
 
Duncan says the high will bring some warmer weather with it too.  “Temperatures are likely to be well into the late teens right across New Zealand this weekend, even the lower 20’s in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay.  The nights will also be warmer than this week with no frosts at all expected for several days in the South Island”.
 
“It’s quite unusual for Spring to be so settled but with plenty of high air pressure about this limits the amount of wind and precipitation.  But spring is very changeable and we’ve been known to have cold snaps bringing snow right up until November…so anything could happen in October and November”.
 
But Duncan also says we’re heading into a La Nina weather pattern.  He says this means more sub tropical weather over much of the country in the next few months bringing warmer temperatures and more rain.
 
However before the drier weather moves in this weekend, a band of heavy rain is forecast for the West Coast of the South Island. 

 


SEMI-TROPICAL WEATHER THIS WEEKEND

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A weekend of “semi tropical” weather is on the way for much of New Zealand as a mild, humid northerly flow spreads down from the north. 
 
The Radio Network’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says there’ll be a real mixture of sun, low cloud and drizzle.  “A northerly flow will bring air from well north of the country across the entire nation”.
 
Light but warm northerly breezes will also lift the temperatures    “We could see temperatures in Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa of around 20 degrees and even into the late teens about Southland and Otago”.
 
Philip Duncan says there’ll be drizzle patches in many north facing regions especially tonight and tomorrow morning with plenty of sun across New Zealand Saturday.  “It’s not going to be hot, but will be semi-tropical with high humidity and no frosts in any towns or cities”.
 
“The only severe weather could be some heavy rain on the South Island’s west coast on Sunday and perhaps some strong winds about Wellington and Southland tomorrow”.
 
Duncan says some forecast models at the Weather Watch Centre are predicting rain to move across NZ on Sunday.  “Weather.com is predicting a 70% chance for rain on Sunday but the weather pattern we have at the moment is very, very slow and quite unpredictable”.
 
 
INTERNATIONAL WEATHER CENTRE
Hurricane Humberto made landfall last night in flood ravaged Texas as a Category 1 storm.  The Hurricane was the first to make landfall in America for almost 2 years, since Hurricane Wilma in October 2005.  The Hurricane surprised all forecasters by going from a depression to a hurricane in just 14 hours.
 

 


DEEP LOW SCRAPES PAST NZ

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It was a stormy Sunday in the far north but luckily for most the large system scraped past New Zealand to the east.  This meant heavy rain and strong winds mostly missed the country.  Winds over 120km/h blasted Cape Reinga with gale force gusts to 100km/h around exposed parts of Whangarei and across the Hauraki Gulf.  Heavy rain fell across Northland and Aucklandbut wasn’t heavy enough to cause any issues.
 
East Cape north of Gisborne is this morning getting pounded by 100km/h southerlies and heavy rain in the hills but the speed of the system means it’s unlikely to cause any damage.  “A benefit of living in such a skinny county from east to west means that the likelihood of sub tropical storms making landfall is much lower” says the Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  “A number of big storms skirt by New Zealand and this one really only got close enough to affect Northland and East Cape and should move away pretty quickly today”.
 
As expected the South Island was sheltered and calm this weekend.  There are big frosts in Otago and Southland this morning - currently it’s minus 3 in Dunedin.
 
So what lies ahead this week?  “In a nut shell we’re back to settled weather with warmer days and cooler nights” says Duncan.  “A high in the Tasman means we’ll have settled weather for much of the week with at this stage a front spreading over the country on Thursday night and Friday”.

 


LOW DEEPENING AS IT MOVES TOWARDS NZ

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A storm is forming in the sub-tropics and is forecast to significantly deepen in the next 24 hours, bringing strong winds and heavy rain to northern New Zealand.
 
“The depression formed in the past day or so and is starting to organise itself into a system that will bring rough weather to Northland especially” says the Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  “Cloud has already started to build from Auckland northwards with the system dragging in humid air from south of Fiji, which is bringing in a few showers north of Auckland”.
 
Rain will start late Saturday in the Far North spreading to Auckland early on Sunday morning.  Strong north easterlies are likely to reach gale force in the Far North on Sunday with gusts to gale force along the east coast as far south as Auckland.  Heavy rain will spread eastwards on Sunday affecting Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne.  On Monday the rain will move into Hawke’s Bay with strong to gale force southerlies spreading over the North Island.
 
“The South Island is still under the grip of a large high which adds to the pressure gradient between the two systems - making stronger winds over the North Island”.
 
Duncan says heavy rain warnings will be issued for Northland tomorrow and he expects the government will issue warnings for Coromandel and Gisborne too.  “It’s unclear if wind warnings will be issued as well, but it’s going to be a wet, windy weekend for northern New Zealand and mainly calm and dry weekend for the South Island”.

 


BLACK ICE WARNING AS FROSTS COVER NZ

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+ Another Depression forms in the Southern Coral Sea
 
 
 
New born lambs along with people will be shivering as all of the country wakes to a bitterly cold morning.  A very strong anticyclone has a firm grip over the nation, trapping cold air from Tuesday's burst of polar air.
 
"Clear skies and little wind means frosts from Southland to Waikato" says the Radio Network's head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  "Motorists especially in southern parts of the South Island should take extreme care as there is bound to be dangerous black ice this morning, following Tuesday's rain and snow".
 
Current temperatures:
Hamilton:   2
Desert Road:  -3
Levin:  -1
Lower Hutt:  2
Wellington:  1
Blenheim:  -1
Christchurch:  -4
Timaru, Wanaka, Queenstown:  -3
Dunedin: -4
Parts of Central Otago:  -6
Lumsden, Gore, Hokotika & Milford:  -1
Invercargill:  1
 
 
Duncan says there is good news for us, and the lambs, with plenty of warming sun today, however he says tonight will probably be even colder.  "There will be even less wind and cloud over New Zealand tonight, that means more severe frosts in the South Island and an even colder start for Aucklanders - with possibly light frosts in western and southern regions".
 
BAD WEATHER ALERT
It's still a few days out, but there appears to be a disturbance forming in the Coral Sea and it's likely to head our way.  The last storm to form there, battered Brisbane with gales and flooding rains and was expected by all the forecasters we use, to affect NZ.  It didn't bring the rains that we expected, but did organise itself as it moved away, bringing gales to Auckland the day of the Lunar Eclipse.  This system appears to be a little more organised, and competing with the huge anticyclone over the country, there looks like a moderate chance of strong winds and heavy rain over the usual northern regions.  We'll have a better idea on Friday.

 


WINTER RETURNS TO CHRISTCHURCH

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Christchurch was hit by squally, wintry showers throughout the night with sleet and hail hammering away at roofs and windows.
Yesterdays chilly air that hit the region bringing snow to some areas, eased for a time late yesterday before returning with more of a punch last night, as predicted by TRN's Weather Watch Centre.

"Conditions are slowly expected to improve today but 7 degrees is the forecast high for the Garden city today which is half the average for this time of year" says South Island weather analyst Richard Green.

"It was the citys most wintry night for some time and the good news is the sunshine will return from later today but Jack frost will pay a vist for at least the next 2 or 3 nights".

On the slopes, some skifields have received a good dump in the last 24 hours which has been an ideal and necessary top up for many operators for Spring time.


RAIN “AT SOME STAGE” FOR EVERYONE THIS WEEKEND

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Wellington, Kapiti Coast, Manawatu and Taranaki are just four regions south of the central North Island that have enjoyed some fantastic weather lately, but it's all about to end. Yesterday Kapiti took the nations high with 23 degrees, while several 22s were felt across those regions and other parts of the country.

"Spring seems to be following Winter's pattern with large highs to the east of New Zealand bringing mainly sunny conditions to the bottom two thirds of the country, meanwhile the top third has rain and strong nor easterlies" says TRN's head weather analyst Philip Duncan. "Yesterday winds reached nearly 120km/h in coastal Northland and up to 100km/h in coastal parts of northern Auckland, all thanks to the high to the east and a low to the north - a carbon copy of July and August".

But the weekend isn't going to be so great for the rest of New Zealand, as another slow and disorganised low pressure system develops in the northern Tasman. "What we mean by disorganised is that it's messy and difficult to predict. It doesn't have a clear pattern to what it’s doing. An organised system, like a storm, shows clear rain bands moving in a certain direction and at a certain speed...disorganised makes them chop and change, die and reform, and not move with the normal, predictable characteristics we're used to seeing with a low and associated frontal bands".

Because of this, weather predictions for the country, especially the top half, seem to be changing by the hour, but one thing is likely - it's going to be cloudy and wet in most areas. "With a system like this it's hard to predict exactly where the rain bands will move and how much rain will be in them...but we can say it's best to bet on a cloudy and probably wet weekend for most areas".

Blustery winds are also likely from Auckland northwards.

Duncan says that global forecasting giant weather.com is predicting showers or rain for all of New Zealand "at some stage this weekend" with the chance of rainfall about 60% to 80% from Southland to Gisborne to Northland and everywhere in between.