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Blog : Our “Flip Flop” Temperatures

By head weather analyst Philip Duncan

The spring flip flop of temperatures has begun already with temperatures much lower on Thursday last week around the country thanks to a cold front and a southerly change – but if you hate the return to colder weather then you’ll be enjoying the weekend warmth!

A ridge of high pressure over the North Island and a large area of low pressure in the Southern Ocean will create a ‘squeeze zone’ over the South Island – that squeeze zone, created by the sharp drop in air pressure between the high and the low, will bring strong nor’westers to the South Island and the lower part of the North Island by Sunday and into early next week.

Those strong winds will, of course, bring a return to higher temperatures – probably between 20 and 25 degrees from Otago to north Canterbury. In the North Island temperatures are likely to be around the upper teens and possibly early 20s (in the east) on Sunday.

Writing about wind directions makes me wish New Zealand’s Islands had been given better names than “North” Island and “South” Island. For example, it can be so confusing talking about northerlies over southern parts of the South Island or northerlies over eastern parts of the North Island! Throw in the Southern Ocean or places like Southland and Northland and suddenly we’re bombarded with north and south directions!! Can be quite mind-numbing to listen to or read!

The most settled weather this weekend will be over northern New Zealand – especially Sunday from Auckland northwards.  It now appears that Aucklanders will have their first 100% dry weekend in 3 and a half months.

Remember to check our special Rain Tracker – this is something we’re trialling so your comments would be appreciated. The Rain Tracker basically gives you a better opportunity to plan your day outdoors by letting you know where the rain clouds or showers lie across New Zealand.  We check the latest rain radar images every 7 minutes and write a brief report for you every hour or so explaining where the rain or showers are falling and where potential precipitation is possible.

Might be helpful if you’re planning on going to the beach, hanging out the washing – or simply wanting a day outside, because we all know that a forecast for “showers” could mean either one or two tiny showers that you hardly notice – or a day indoors!

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday Philip Duncan writes a weather blog exclusively for  To read his other blogs, just click here.


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