Autumn is finally showing signs of life after what has been a very quiet six weeks for most parts of New Zealand, with the exception of the brief cold snap last Monday and wet weather in Gisborne.
WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters say the Southern Ocean and Tasman Sea are waking up and that means more lows for New Zealand, more wind and, you guessed it, colder weather.
“We knew the first half of May would be fairly settled, even with the southerly last week and the low passing over the country today, but the overall trend since the end of March has been for large highs to mostly dominate our weather – and those days are slowly coming to an end”.
Mr Duncan says the weather pattern is looking more chaotic, which is “classically Autumnal”.
“This isn’t an end to our big highs – just that they will be more mixed in with the lows”
“We’re seeing big storms in the Southern Ocean which will brush the country more and more – this starts off with warm nor’westers then turns to showery and cold southerlies”.
Mr Duncan says the next southerly for the country may be early next week as a large low brushes the South Island – starting with winds and clouds building this weekend.
“This isn’t the start of winter but it is more typically Autumn”.
Since March WeatherWatch.co.nz has been predicting Autumn would continue to be warm and dry and has said the weather pattern around the country is similar to last year – which in winter produced both record breaking warmth and record breaking cold, along with snow falling in Auckland and Northland.
While such polar events appear to only happen every 30 years Mr Duncan says if the intense highs continue to cross the country we may see another significant polar outbreak this winter, although he admits it “would be a bit of a fluke to have them two years in a row”.
Unsettled weather is predicted to remain in place until Friday with the weather settling for many on Saturday, ahead of the next low to move in around Sunday and Monday near, or over, the South Island.
Image / the wind and rain map for next Monday shows a large low moving towards the South Island / www.Weathermap.co.nz