As we head towards February the unsettled weather pattern looks set to continue – but the area with the most amount of activity may well shift more towards the tropics and from the Southern Ocean.
Various models continue to confirm that a surge of tropical and sub-tropical activity is likely in the next couple of weeks well north of New Zealand and across northern Australia. “We have some nice big highs moving towards New Zealand now, starting this week, but as we head into February these highs will have near continuous attacks from lows in the north” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
“The high this week will bring more traditional summer-like weather to most of the country, but another cool change hits the lower South Island late Wednesday and into Thursday and Friday with daytime temperatures dropping to the low to mid-teens once again”.
But Mr Duncan says the tropical activity may mean there is now more of a focus on what is happening north of the country. “Some models show the weather settling a little in the south while beoming more unsettled in the north – or at least just north of New Zealand”.
Farmers and those who rely on rain water won’t be unhappy with the forecast of possible tropical rain. While rain has hit a number of places this summer there remain a number of pockets across both islands that are incredibly dry – especially in some parts of the upper North Island. With mostly dry and sometimes windy weather in the forecast for the next 10 days it will only add the demand for another solid rainmaker soon.
But a more active tropics doesn’t equate to more rain in New Zealand – just a higher risk of it. “The highs coming in for early February south of Aussie look nice and big for the South Island and much of the North Island. The south isn’t out of the woods with the cold changes but they do look less frequent in February”.
The same highs that will bring drier weather to many parts of New Zealand over the coming week or so will also help keep the tropical lows north of us and feeding into Queensland. However a break in the highs – or if they sink further south – means northern New Zealand would likely be vulnerable to a tropical or sub-tropical low in the coming two weeks.
At this stage, the next 10 days across the country look drier rather than wetter – but windy conditions may still affect various regions from time to time.
– Homepage image / File, Chris Johnson