A small but intense storm in the Tasman Sea is threatening to bring rain clouds over the country for dawn services this Anzac Day however WeatherWatch.co.nz has increasing confidence most places will start off dry.
Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the system has been difficult to predict all week but its path is now quite clear. “The centre of the low may not even make direct landfall, instead it’s likely to drop down the Tasman Sea and just brush Fiordland early on Sunday “.
However Mr Duncan predicts heavy rain and strong winds will affect a number of regions in the north and west. “We are very confident of heavy rain in Northland on Saturday with MetService this afternoon also issuing a rain warning for the area. However our confidence for rain in places like Auckland remains low and we still believe there’s a chance it will be dry there and in most other places at 5am”.
“There’s no guarantees but it does look as though the high in the east will keep the rain over Northland until Saturday morning or even afternoon”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz predicts rain will move southwards and eastwards during the day. Rain or showers may also affect Southland early on Saturday.
Strong winds will also accompany the low. “With a large high in the east and a deep low in the west New Zealand is slap band in the middle of the ‘squeeze zone’ – where the isobars squash together indicating strong winds between these two systems”.
Gale force winds have been blasting Cape Reinga all afternoon with gusts over 100km/h. Gales are also spreading across the Hauraki Gulf and winds are picking up in Auckland city where gusts are now around 50km/h. While the wind isn’t likely to be severe it could remain for another 48 hours.
Looking ahead and WeatherWatch.co.nz says an even bigger low is on the way next week. “This low is in the Southern Ocean and is huge in size – the centre alone is predicted to be roughly the size of our country” says Duncan. “We’ll be monitoring this low closely as it may bring gales and heavy rain to the South Island along with a possible cold blast afterwards around Tuesday and Wednesday next week”.