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        Snow for Aussie capital

-         A mild, frost free, week for most of New Zealand



It doesn’t happen too often but so far this month it’s been consistent.  Some parts of Australia are well below average for this of year making New Zealand look like the place to holiday if you want a little warmth!  This morning in Sydney it’s currently 3 degrees well below its average and far below Auckland which is currently on 11 degrees.  “Both Sydney’s overnight lows and day time highs have been either equal to or a few degrees below Auckland for the past few weeks and this week is no different” says Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan from TRN.  “The lows in the Tasman which have been feeding down warm air over the North Island have been sending bitterly cold air up Australia’s east coast”.


Mr Duncan says it’s worth pointing out that Sydney has the same latitude as Cape Reinga.
Forecasters are tonight and tomorrow expecting snow to fall in Canberra.  “However due to the dryness of the air it shouldn’t be very heavy”.
And it’s the mild air from the current low centred near Auckland’s west coast which will mean a frost free week for the North Island and most of the South.  “I’m starting to wonder if our coldest weather has already been, due to this easterly pattern we seem to be stuck in”.  However a large high set to move in early next week could see a return to clear skies and frosty mornings across the country.  “We’re just not seeing the usual cold southerlies this year, certainly over the North Island anyway”.



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It doesn’t happen too often but so far this month it’s been consistent.  Some parts of Australia are well below average for this time of year making New Zealand look like the place to holiday if you want a little warmth! This morning crunchy grass, frozen ponds and ice on widescreens, greeted those in Sydney.  The air temperature dropped to just 3 degrees - at the exact same time it was 11 degrees in Auckland.
“Both Sydney’s overnight lows and day time highs have been either equal to or a few degrees below Auckland for the past few weeks and this week is no different” says Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan of The Radio Network.  “The lows in the Tasman which have been feeding down warm air over the North Island have also been sending bitterly cold air up Australia’s east coast”.
Mr Duncan says it’s worth pointing out that Sydney has the same latitude as Cape Reinga.
In Canberra snow is forecast to fall starting tonight lasting through tomorrow, however snow falls aren’t likely to be heavy.
And Duncan says it’s the mild air from the current low centred near Auckland’s west coast which will mean a frost free week for the North Island and most of the South.  “With historically the coldest weather of the year now upon us I’m starting to wonder if in fact our coldest weather has already been.  We seem to be stuck in an easterly pattern which is bringing warmer wetter to the North Island at least”. 



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One more low this week, then clearing weather for all
Central Otago still frosty this week…end in sight though?


A band of heavy rain is slowly moving down Northland and should reach Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty later this morning.  Winds picked up a little in Auckland overnight with a few strong gusts, but most of the big winds remained offshore.  Winds of up to 105km/h are still blasting the Hauraki Gulf.

The warm front moving across the North Island is going to bring a lift to temperatures this week.  Auckland can expect highs tomorrow and later this week of around 16 maybe 17 degrees.  Further north, places may even reach into 18 or 19.  Overnight lows right across the North Island should be much higher with very few frosts expected, if any.  It was around minus 2 in Kapiti this morning, the only part of the North Island dipping below zero.
Over the South Island Invercargill and Westland will be sunnier than the east coast with Central Otago still being affected by severe frosts.  TRN’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says the feels like temperature in Queenstown is currently minus 10.  In Dunedin it is minus 6.  “This large high is still covering the lower half of the South Island.  It should gradually slide away but the week will be a frosty cold one again for Central Otago”.
Duncan says the end of the frosts could be in sight.  “A low, bigger than the one over the north today, should form in the central Tasman.  By Thursday or Friday winds will pick up right across the country.  It’s likely to be a showery Friday or Weekend for many”.  However a large high south of Australia could mean clearing skies finally for the North Island by the end of this weekend.
But before that Duncan says those living in Northland should keep up to date with the rain amounts expected with this Tasman Low.  “Although the low won’t be as near to Northland as the past two, the associated fronts could bring some heavy rain again to the area”.



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PLUS - It’s the coldest time of year… but something summery is happening.

Occasionally I break away from the daily weather news stories and write a blog. It’s usually a chance for me to rant and vent and today’s blog is no different.
Nothing annoys me more these days than hearing every storm being blamed on Global Warming, caused by mankind. Last night on TV there was a news story about how global warming could be to blame for this week’s huge storm. 
I find this fascinating! I never knew I was so powerful!! This storm was made by ME!   In fact, it appears Mother Nature is resting up in a hospice enjoying the occasional magnificent sunset while us down here on earth go to work and without realising it, create every devastating weather event on the planet.
This certainly seems to be the way many experts (and non experts) seem to be going. NIWA blamed the flood earlier this year in Northland on global warming.   The major Hurricane season that spawned Katrina was blamed on global warming. The tornadoes across America this year were blamed on global warming.   Now, I MIGHT be wrong here… but I’m pretty sure – and don’t quote me here – but I’m pretty sure we had hurricanes, floods, droughts, tornadoes and snow storms before the year 2000.
Is global warming happening? Absolutely. Is man to blame for global warming? Maybe, maybe not. Does the weather get more extreme in warmer conditions? Sure. Does severe weather come in cycles that can last decades? Definitely. But I’m pretty sure Mother Nature has, in the past, and will, in the future, create storms that devastate towns and cities. Bola occurred without mankind… but 20 years later it seems every storm is a result of people driving SUVs. 
I’m not saying we aren’t contributing to global warming and I’m a huge believer in keeping our planet clean. We should be power efficient, we shouldn’t drive gas guzzling cars just to look good, we shouldn’t treat our one and only Earth as something disposable… but I believe Mother Nature has a lot more energy then we give her credit for.  
ANYWAY… on a more positive note. The coldest part of the year is upon us. Traditionally the 6 weeks or so after the shortest day bring us big frosts and plenty of snow. But here’s something to be positive about. The days are starting to get longer… a tiny wee reminder that Summer is starting to prepare itself…even if it is half a year away!
At this time of year our evenings get a little longer faster than our mornings get shorter. So although the sun’s only rising a couple of minutes earlier it’s setting quite a few minutes later. SO - most of the country can this weekend enjoy around an extra 15 minutes of sunlight from the shortest day.
Ahhh I can feel the heat already.   Have a great weekend!
- Severe frosts set to continue in inland South Island this weekend.
- Frosts return to many areas in the NorthIsland tonight as Tuesday’s storm moves well out into the Pacific.
- And it’s the news Northlanders don’t want to hear. More rain and wind possible on Monday. (More details as soon we get them).



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Another low, moving in the same direction, could bring more rain and wind to northern NZ
+ Still very, very cold in the South
A mainly sunny and still start to the weekend is on the way for New Zealand but a low developing in the Tasman is set to bring some more rain and wind to the North.  The low is just starting to form east of Sydney and by late Sunday the low is likely to be centred north of Northland.  This is the same pattern all the recent big lows have followed.
“If you live in flood areas, the advice is don’t worry but keep up to date with the latest forecasts.  At this stage the Low isn’t expected to be anywhere near as deep as the one this week” says TRN’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan.  “Because it will be in a similar position to this week’s storm there is the potential for a period of heavy rain and strong winds though”.
TRN’s Weather Watch Centre is forecasting rain to develop in Whangarei on Sunday with some heavy falls possible on Monday, with heavy showers likely Tuesday.
MetService is also saying there is a risk of heavy rains, but acknowledge the risk is only low at this stage.
“The latest computer models are predicting the large high in the South to remain which could cause another squeeze of air pressure between the two systems.  No gales are expected but it could be a bit blustery in the north”.
Global weather forecasting giant is predicting rain will affect Coromandel and Bay of Plenty more so than Auckland on Monday with heavy thundery showers possible on Tuesday.
“Flood victims and those in charge of cleaning up the damage should just stay up to date with the developments of this system as it’s quite unpredictable.  We can say for sure that as of Friday afternoon the system doesn’t look too concerning, but with saturated soil making conditions so fragile it’s important to keep the public informed as it wont take much rain to lift river levels” says Duncan.
The South Island is shivering yet again today as cold air remains trapped under a large high pressure system.  “In Lumsden and Gore and other central parts of the South Island the temperature hasn’t even gone above freezing all day.  “It’s only warmed up to around minus 2 in Gore this afternoon and at noon it felt like minus 4 in Queenstown”.
More severe frosts are predicted all weekend in the South Island with winds dying away tonight in the north allowing frosts to creep in to more areas”.
The big storm is now well and truly out into the Pacific, centred over 1000 kilometres north east of East Cape.  “Winds are still gusting to around 50km/h around Hicks Bay and a few showers are being pumped in but conditions should quickly improve in the next 12 to 24 hours”.

THE RUGBY – All Blacks vs Springboks in Christchurch, Saturday night.
A light south westerly will mean mainly clear skies…and it’ll be cold.  The ‘feels like’ temperature will be around 1 or 2 degrees for the whole game.



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Big High Pressure System Set to Move Over Entire Country
+ Can you recall a time when we had so many easterlies in winter?




The deep low that brought cyclone force winds to northern New Zealand is today giving the east coast a run for its money.  But despite winds of 85km/h gusting across northern Gisborne and rain in Napier, conditions are going to gradually improve.  “The sun is out in the north along with a strong breeze – it’s perfect ’drying out’ weather” says Philip Duncan, head weather analyst at the Radio Network.  “There’s a big high in the southern Tasman and tomorrow it’ll be centred near Christchurch”.
That means more bitterly cold temperatures for the South, and a cold wind chill over the North.  “It currently feels like minus 10 or 11 in Queenstown and most of Central Otago is the same”.  The lack of wind over the South Island will produce more severe frosts tonight.
In the North a strong to breezy south easterly from Tuesday’s big low will stop frosts in a lot of areas, but Friday night will be another story.  “By then most places will have only light breezes.  There’ll be frosts for many”.  Duncan says the feels like temperature in Auckland today will only get up to around 7 or 8 degrees.
But another low forming in the Tasman in the next 48 hours will see a return to warmer north easterlies in the north.  “This month is certainly being dominated by easterlies which is unusual as our prevailing wind in winter is westerly.  It’s just the pattern we’re in”.   
For those in the north worried about more rain, the next 72 hours are looking mainly dry.  “Could just be the odd brief, light, shower.  This next low in the Tasman looks set to cross Northland late Sunday or Monday bringing some rain, but it’s not expected to be anywhere near as big as the low on Tuesday and certainly at this stage no alarm bells are ringing in our weather centre”.



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-         Gales now confined to north east Northland
-         More rain on the way for Northland…but not as much
-         Conditions to ease everywhere tonight


Gales reached Cyclone status last night – between Category 2 and 3 (out of 5) – as winds gusted to 180km/h.  “A very rare event to have winds so strong anywhere across New Zealand, especially across Northland and northern Auckland” said Philip Duncan, Head Weather Analyst at the Radio Network.

Last nights “cyclone” has certainly eased this morning, with only north east of Northland, around Tutukaka, still getting gusts of over 120km/h.
In Auckland winds are now only reaching 60 or 70 km/h.
“There could be some gusty moments today where winds reach 100km/h but at this stage it looks as though the wind is really easing back”.
But the rain isn’t over yet.  Philip Duncan says more could be on the way.  “While the rain radar has been knocked out we can still see the satellite map.  At this stage it appears there’s another band of rain spreading down from the far North and into the Northland region.  It looks as though this will be a parting shot as the low then moves out in to the Pacific Ocean this afternoon”. 
Mr Duncan expects conditions to ease everywhere by this evening, with rain and winds tapering off after lunch.



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It’s freezing if you live in the lower part of the South Island this morning.  Temperatures are well below freezing in many places even at 10am.  Lumsden was minus 7 at 9am but has now warmed up to a balmy minus 3.  It’s minus 2 in Manapouri and minus 1 in Invercargill.  The coldest place so far today is Wanaka on minus 5 at 10am.
Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says it’s thanks to a large high…and that means good news for the rest of New Zealand.  “The deep low over Northland is still hanging around.  Winds have picked up a little again this morning but are only about half the speeds of yesterday.  The good news is that as this low moves out to the east tonight, the large high over the South will start to spread up country”.
That means a fine and frosty end to the week for most of us.  “Severe frosts across inland South Island and some pretty hefty frosts are likely in the north”.
And while Wellingtonians might enjoy the fact that they haven’t been making the weather news this year, they’ve had a blustery 24 hours.  “Wellington is roughly the halfway mark between this big high in the south and deep low in the north.  Southerlies have been near gale force with gusts last hour to 105km/h on Mt Kaukau”.



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- UPDATE:  Gales now affecting Northland and the Hauraki Gulf.
- RAIN now also in the picture for Northland: MetService.


An intense depression is continuing to grow north of New Zealand bringing with it bands of heavy rain and incredibly strong winds. 
The winds have battered the far north with predictions they are going to get even stronger today.  The Radio Network’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says winds are well over 100km/h.  “From Northland to the Hauraki Gulf winds are gusting to 110km/h already.  We’re expecting that to increase further in some eastern coastal places to 130km/h later today”.
In Auckland winds have picked up rapidly overnight and have reached gale force out on the water…but only reaching 70km/h on land at this stage. “Auckland tends to be a bit sheltered to these easterly storms thanks to the Coromandel Peninsula.  Although a long way away it slows down the wind a little and certainly breaks down the rain”.
But slightly further south and motorists and residents near the western slopes of the Kaimai Ranges should watch for even stronger winds.  “The Kaimai Ranges act as big funnel…the air builds up and rushes down the valleys.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some gusts reach 160 to 80km/h in isolated places, especially around Te Aroha” says Duncan.
Bands of heavy rain are also moving across Northland with isolated thunderstorms.
It’s much warmer in the North than the South this morning too with most temperatures already in the lower to mid teens.  In the South it’s minus 4 in parts of Central Otago, but a little warmer in Invercargill on 1 degrees.
MetService has also issued a number of severe weather warnings for wind and rain in northern regions.  They can be found on the weather link at



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Torrential rain is falling across Northland and the worst news is that the storm is still intensifying.  TRN’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says the air pressure is dropping rapidly and the winds are picking up.  “Winds are averaging about 100km/h across the Hauraki Gulf and gusting up to 122km/h”.  He predicts winds will reach 140km/h to 150km/h this afternoon.  “In land there are more obstacles to slow the wind down, but north of Auckland winds could still reach 120km/h.  This winds could easily bring down powerlines, lift roofs and make driving hazardous”.
Islands near Paihia are now clocking winds of 146km/h while further south in Tutukaka winds are reaching 125km/h.
“The storm has now broken in two centres, basically one to the west and one to the east of Cape Reinga”.
In the eastern Waikato, where winds are expected to pick up later today and tonight, gusts are now starting to reach gale force with 70km/h clocked in the past hour.
Mr Duncan says the rain will almost certainly cause flooding in some areas and farmers, motorists and residents need to be vigilant of rapidly rising streams and rivers.  “Northland is getting the worst of these storms”.
“This is a significant weather event – those north of Waikato are in for a very rough 24 hours”.
Meanwhile conditions are relatively normal across New Zealand, however it’s still below zero across central and inland South Island.