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‘Concerning’ dry event for lower North Island, rain possible mid March

As rain falls in the north, west and south – one area has frequently missed out this summer – the lower North Island.  Places like Wellington, Wairarapa, Manawatu, Wanganui, Horowhenua, Kapiti – these areas have turned very brown in recent weeks.

The ‘high pressure sandwich’ isn’t helping much either – it’s focusing dry weather over central New Zealand.

While rain has fallen on the South Island’s West Coast and more rain than average has fallen in Nelson, the blocking nature of the Southern Alps has stopped these rain makers from moving into the lower North Island. Likewise northern rain events haven’t had the energy to move far enough south over land.  

The lower North Island appears to be trapped in a ‘dry bubble’ – and says the entire first half of March looks dry, or mostly dry, for these regions.

For rain to get into these areas we need the High Pressure Sandwich to end – or put another away: we need a gap in the highs.

In March’s third week there is a chance for this – as one large high moves off the country and the next high is still out over Australia. Long range modelling shows a sub-tropical or Tasman Sea low may then move into New Zealand – but it’s definitely too far out to lock in. head weather analyst Philip Duncan says April often brings rain back to most parts of New Zealand, so at this time of the year it’s often the case of riding out the dry weather until this change happens, usually in mid April across the country.

– Image – the hills between Wellington and Kapiti, taken from Paremata / Chris Johnson


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