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Red Sky in the morning over Ashburton today.  Photo by local Weather Watch reporter Gareth Thomas.

After a relatively calm week weather-wise across New Zealand last week things have quickly changed as a very large area of low pressure moves in from the Tasman Sea. The low is continuing to deepen and is a stark contrast compared to the huge high over the country last week. The low will bring rain, showers, strong winds, thunderstorms and even sunny weather. “This week won’t be as settled as last week with rain or showers for most places along with gusty winds. It’s a typical mixed bag of spring weather” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.

The depression, which developed at the end of last week off Australia’s east coast, is expected to stall over New Zealand bringing a number of showery and windy days. “Eastern areas will probably be the best places to be with the ranges sheltering them from much of the rain. Some areas such as Hawkes Bay and Bay of Plenty may well see temperatures in the lower 20s fanned by a warm nor’westerly and mainly clear skies from tomorrow onwards”. Western areas will take the full brunt of the rain and heavy showers as the low continues to deepen.

Strong winds have been blowing across Auckland and Northland for the past day and increased quite a bit this morning with gusts over 100km/h in the Hauraki Gulf and strong winds reported acropss Auckland and Eastern Waikato.

Mr Duncan says the recent sunny, mild and windy weather has allowed a lot of areas to dry out quickly from the winter rains – but warns that may not be good news for everyone. “Some areas around Auckland and Waikato are seeing cracks forming in the ground – for areas already dealing with landslides this may cause further headaches as the cracks allow rain to be absorbed very quickly into the earth”.

Government forecaster MetService has issued a number of rain warnings, they can be found in the “weather” section here

And Duncan says for those lucky enough to have the sun this week to be aware of the burn times. “It’s a reality we have to deal with in New Zealand due to our poor ozone coverage but we have burn times already reaching moderate for the top half of the North Island. If your shadow at midday is shorter than you are then you’re being exposed to high radiation levels – it’s time to start thinking about taking shade at noon and wearing sunglasses outdoors – as I said earlier, a typical spring week!”.


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