November 2008

A Bit of a Breather!

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While it might not be a perfect 'blue dome' day for everyone today the regions exposed to severe weather on Monday will be able to have a bit of a breather. 

Places like Nelson and Marlborough should see a return to clear skies and dry weather while areas that were pummeled by strong winds such as Northland, Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Canterbury should see much lighter winds drifting in.

The air pressure is building again over New Zealand as a high moves in from the Tasman Sea and Monday's storm moves way out to sea. 

Some areas of cloud and moisture are trapped under this increasing high pressure and a few weak fronts will touch a few coastal areas, particularly Northland and Southland, but a number of coastal areas will be cloudy today.

November has seen several days with temperatures around 30 degrees which is well above the average for this time of the year.  Today should be significantly cooler in places like Napier, Hastings, Christchurch and Timaru.

Temperatures tonight will also be much lower in the South, some by as much as 20 degrees compared to Monday night!


Is there a Drought looming in the East?

We're putting together a piece on the dry conditions in the east of both islands.  If you live in Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Canterbury or Otago we'd love to hear from you.  Use the "Contact Us" button at the top of the page and let us know what conditions are like where you  are.  Is it worse than last year?  Are you concerned about the on going hot westerlies?  Let us know.

Waitakere Sunset

Waitakere Sunset

Red skies,clear and calm above Titirangi. 8.21pm Sky tower not visible from New Lynn at this time because of very low cloud. Not a breath of wind in New Lynn-lovely! Uploaded by: Zelda Wynn Date: 25th Nov, 2008


Thanks for all the photos Zelda!  By the way, not all photos are displayed on the front page (otherwise it would clutter up the front page!).  They will then be automatically loaded into one of the galleries (clouds, sunsets, storm etc) and will pop up randomly in the photo section on the front page.

We're really pleased with the number of photos that have been sent in by our readers since changing our Photo Upload section.  Please, keep them coming!

The Weather Watch Team

The Daily Debrief- TUESDAY

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Hastings climbed to the top today with a high of 30 degrees and many parts of the country felt some warmth under blustery conditions, whereas the cold southerly made an impact over the southern half of the mainland, with Invercargill just nudging 13 degrees, which was half of yesterdays high.

Tonight and tomorrow the cooler air should wind its way north with some showers moving into eastern areas.


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Airforce plane? flying low over Rosebank Peninsula past rows of altocumulus - Zelda. 1.10pm. Uploaded by: Zelda Wynn Date: 25th Nov, 2008

Click on the CLOUDS section above to see more of Zelda's cloud pictures.

Cloudscape over Kelston

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Cloudscape over KelstonBeautiful clouds pass over Kelston. Cumulus and alto cumulous (I think) Uploaded by: Zelda Wynn Date: 25th Nov, 2008

Over Waitakere City

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Over Waitakere CityCloud display over Waitakere City Taken from New Lynn looking toward Ranges. Taken 1.06pm. Strong NW wind. Uploaded by: Zelda Wynn Date: 25th Nov, 2008

Heavenly shapes

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Heavenly shapesClouds over New Lynn East at 10.51am. Beautiful sunny weather,wind gusting! Uploaded by: Zelda Wynn Date: 25th Nov, 2008

Storm Causes Problems in Both Islands

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Reports are now coming in of damage from around the country. 

The heaviest rain fell over western and northern parts of the South Island but heavy falls were also recorded on Mt Taranaki and other northern and western regions.

Over 300mm of rain was recorded on Mt Taranaki but much lower amounts near sea level with 61 in Stratford and just 35mm in New Plymouth.

But heavy rain caused major headaches for the upper South Island. 

The NZ Herald reports that the Matai river in Nelson came within a hairsbreadth of bursting its banks and flooding parts of the city.  The river was sand banked as a precaution. 

Several roads around Nelson and Marlborough were closed yesterday and last night because of the rain.

A comment posted to by Peter M of Mahau Sound in the Marlborough Sounds says 159mm of rain fell in just 24 hours.

As expected by the Weather Watch Centre the winds weren't really a major feature of this system but still caused some problems in the northern North Island.  A tree fell on an Auckland home while gales brought down trees closing roads in Northland.

Comments posted to describes a noisy night from east Auckland up to Northland as winds rose to gale force at times.

The winds rose to gale force in Kaikoura for a time last night but most eastern parts of the South Island had a hot night with many centres still in the mid 20s at 10pm.

The heavy rain has missed the areas that needed it most - eastern areas of both islands.   As predicted by the Weather Watch Centre back in early September a 'neutral' spring (with no La Nina or El Nino weather pattern) meant the prevailing westerlies would dry out farms in the east.

We'll have more details on the dry conditions in the east soon.

The hot, hot days of summer

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For a country that is surrounded by water, perhaps rather surprisingly, top maximum temperatures have hit the 40's (albeit on one particular day!).The waters around the country are relatively cool but occasionally, very warm air descends from the north or is blown across the Tasman from the interior of Australia, resulting in hot nor' west winds advancing across the nation.

Overall , average temperatures are warmest as you head north, with Kaitaia having the highest average mean temperature of almost 16 degrees.Oddly enough though, the highest ever temperature in Kaitaia has barely hit 30 degrees. Only a handful of places around the country have recorded similar top temperatures, as many other regions have soared into the 30's.

To the main centres and Aucklands Albert Park has hit a top of 34.4 degrees whereas the airport has registered a maximum of 30.5 degrees, Hamilton has nudged 35, Wellingtonians have enjoyed 31.1 degrees, Christchurch has sizzled up to 41.6 and Dunedinites have almost clocked up 36 degrees.

The 7th of February, 1973 is a day that has gone into the New Zealand weather history books as many records were broken up and down the country. Very hot northwesterly conditions prevailed ahead of a cold front and temperatures broke the 40 degree barrier across a number of eastern areas of the country for the first time.

By the end of the day, a record  42.4 degrees had been clocked up in Jordan in Marlborough and Rangiora, near Christchurch.The Garden city wasn't too far behind with 41.6 degrees but due to the heat, scrub fires and buckled railways tracks were not an uncommon site.

Inland areas during the height of summer can see temperatures soar especially under anticyclonic conditions. The lack of a seabreeze can make conditions fairly oppressive and occasionally humidity in northern areas appear to make it ' feel ' even more unbearable.

Even though generally the average highs belong to northerners, the extremes take place inland and out further east, so therefore the hottest and the coldest temperatures occur in these areas.

Alexandra frequently hones in on 30 degrees during late spring,summer and early autumn but cool southerly periods at times can keep the overall summer figure down.The official high for Alex is 37.7 but the overnight lows are often crisp and pull down the mean average. Kawerau is very warm in summer and is often the North Islands warmest centre during the day, as the lack of wind keeps the thermometer high.

Top temperatures around NZ include Whangarei with 30.8,Tauranga 33.7, Rotorua 31.5, New Plymouth 30.3, Palmerston North 33, Napier 35.8, Nelson  36.3, Kaikoura 35, Hokitika 30, Timaru 37.2 and Invercargill 32.2.

Overnight lows are generally highest in Northland and Auckland  during the summer season with humidity and warmer ocean temperatures aiding the muggy nights at times.

Extreme heat is rare in this part of the world compared to many other countries but perhaps we just like it that way!

Weather Analyst-Richard Green

Storm - 10pm Quick Update

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Just a quick update on the progress of our late spring storm. 

**Please note that the Auckland Rain Radar is not operating at the moment.  We've published the most recent image in the Comments section below this story**


The main frontal band is now draped over northern and western New Zealand and the entire west coast of the South Island.  The heaviest rain is falling at the top of both islands.

Heavy rain is now moving into the Tararua Ranges, Coromandel Peninsula and King Country.  Spillover from heavy rain near Fiordland is affecting Queenstown - which farmers through Central Otago will be grateful for however it's not spreading too much further east.



Whangaparaoa - Winds near gale force, sustained at 57km/h


Blenheim, then Kaikohe, Whitianga, Lower Hutt, then Hamilton & Auckland.


24 Timaru, 23 Ohakea, 22 Wanganui