Damaging wind gusts howled across parts of Waikato and Auckland and the entire upper North Island overnight and this morning with gusts over 100km/h – but as we head towards Wednesday evening the winds are continuing to ease as a large high rolls in from the upper Tasman Sea.
The big Australian high will cross the North Island on Thursday PM and Friday AM bringing much calmer, settled, weather to most of New Zealand.
“If you had a rough night trying to sleep last night then you’ll be pleased to know that tonight and tomorrow night look much much better” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan, pointing to winds easing further, then dying out across Thursday.
By Friday the high will be tracking out over the Pacific Ocean east of the North Island – and not for the first time this year WeatherWatch.co.nz is talking about record challenging or record breaking warmth as sub-tropical and Australian northerly quarter winds move across the country. This will be after a chilly start to the day though – with frosts through inland areas of both islands.
Saturday also looks mild relatively speaking – but windy. Nor’west winds may reach gale, or even severe gale /hurricane force (over 120km/h). “The forecast for very windy, warm, and dry nor’westers is the last thing Canterbury farmers in drought want to hear” says Mr Duncan. “The long range forecast for the rest of July sees plenty more very windy days from the westerly quarter which favours wet in the west and dry in the east”.
By Sunday a strong, colder, sou’west airflow will once again spread across the country with coastal gales in exposed areas. Next week sees mostly strong westerly quarter winds and a mix of cold fronts and sunny spells.
So when is the next big polar southerly? With such a dominant westerly at the moment across New Zealand and south of Australia even just hints of southerlies in long range maps are often being removed in the following update. However there is some feeling that the final days of July, or the first days of August, might see a significant cold snap. We’ll keep you posted.
*Side note: We are aware the maps we display via MetOcean are currently showing just 7 to 9 days, rather than 14. They are aware of this and we are awaiting a fix. We appreciate the free mapping service MetOcean provides NZers.