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Dry end to January? has increased confidence that the last 7 days of January will be dry and hot almost everywhere across New Zealand.

Since Summer started on December 1st the country has had roughly one rain band move through each week but it appears that, that may now be over according to head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  “This is a typical late January/early February set up with a large dominant high holding its ground while lows and fronts try to attack, unsuccessfully, from the south”.

Mr Duncan says temperatures yesterday were in the low to mid 30s across southern and eastern areas of both islands and the outlook for the next few days doesn’t differ.  “We’re stuck in a hot, dry, hold pattern until at least the end of January by the looks of it”.

For those enjoying a later Summer holiday this spells good news while farmers, some of who have recently recorded had good rainfalls, will be worried.  “North west Canterbury, Marlborough, northern Wairarapa and southern Hawkes Bay would probably be the driest spots – and the least likely to get rain in the next week or so” says Duncan.

Some rain or showers are possible however.  “Some of those attacking lows and fronts in the Southern Ocean may scrape Southland and the West Coast, but confidence levels at this stage are relatively low”.

If the high holds on into February farms in other areas may also start to feel the big dry returning.   “Places like Waikato, Gisborne, Canterbury and Otago could do with a top up about now…but it’s most likely not going to happen until February”.

Meanwhile the tropics directly north of New Zealand remain very active.  “This is like our wild card – while it remains dry over much of the country there remains an increased risk of a sub-tropical low or ex-tropical cyclone coming down this summer”.

Mr Duncan says sub-tropical lows over the past 4 or 5 weeks were responsible for bringing much needed top ups to rain water tanks and farms over the North Island, while unstable air producing thunderstorms and heavy showers brought some relief to large pockets of Canterbury.


What’s it like where you are?   Too dry or just right?


SW on 25/01/2009 8:27am

yes I agree with the comment above,its a dry anticyclonic SW regime were in and because its not enough for the NE or the disturbances in the north to punch their way through the highs making their centre line about 30-35S.

Föehn on 24/01/2009 8:53pm

Despite some good rainfall in December and early January, it is now getting very dry in South Auckland. This is very good news for the peaches that are closer to getting ripe, but no good for the rest of the garden.

Paspalum seed is becoming a nuisance in the lawn

I know what will happen though. Just as those juicy Blackboys reach maturity along will come the February rain and they’ll all get brown rot!

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