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BLOG : Queen’s Birthday Weekend Forecast

Blog by Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan.


Well it’s the last public holiday for almost five months (I definitely support a public holiday in Winter in memory of Sir Edmund Hillary!) and the question on everyone’s mind is “What will the weather be like this long weekend?”.  Well at this time of year anything can happen.  Snow, frosts, gales, heavy rain – it’s all a possibility.  But the good news this year is that most traditional holiday spots should be pretty good thanks to a large high pressure system.

Basically an anticyclone (high) in the Tasman Sea will bring mostly dry weather to the country – doing a pretty good job at blocking cold fronts from the Southern Ocean.  But a weak front will manage to move up the country on Friday bringing showers to Southland and the West Coast…and that front will deliver a few brief showers to the North Island’s west coast later on Friday or Saturday …but thanks to that high it will weaken as it moves.  A front moving through a High is the same as you trying to run through a swimming pool…it’s hard work and you’ll lose your puff pretty quickly.

On Sunday, a stronger front will move up the South Island’s east coast, reaching Wellington late in the day, and behind it will be much colder weather.  So I’m sorry but Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington will all see a return to single digit highs…but maybe some more snow for Queenstown ski fields.

Meanwhile traditional holiday spots such as the Bay of Islands, Coromandel Peninsula,  Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay are all the best places to be with mainly sunny weather and light winds.   Warm days and cold nights.  There is the risk of a shower for this group, but honestly the risk is so small it’s hardly worth stressing about. 

Auckland will probably see a few showers coming in off the Tasman on Friday night or Saturday but current models show 90% of the time it will be dry this weekend.

Finally – just a reminder about that cold snap on Sunday and Monday along the South Island’s south and east coasts.  Queen’s Birthday Monday will be cold everywhere south of Wellington. 

Have a great long weekend!


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