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Easter weekend may be dry, but sub-tropical low looms forecasters believe the Easter Weekend should start off dry for most regions – but a sub-tropical low still looks as though it will past nearby, if not directly hitting the north eastern North Island.

All this week the models have been consistent in picking a decent sized sub-tropical low for the four day holiday weekend, but like other sub-tropical lows over the past two months each update this week has bumped the future low further east.

Again a large high moving in from the Tasman Sea is behind the eastward shift. 

It is this same set up that stopped both cyclone’s Atu and Bune from hitting New Zealand.  Either of those cyclones could easily have caused serious problems had protective highs not been moving in from the Tasman Sea.

The latest update today shows a large high pushing over New Zealand on Good Friday but a low moving into, or very near, Bay of Plenty, East Cape and Gisborne on Saturday and Easter Sunday.

Image — Next Sunday’s possible set up, but still early days yet. should have a much clearer idea about this scenario in the next few days / ECMWF

As of this weekend we’ll provide daily Easter Weekend forecasts exclusive to


Guest on 15/04/2011 3:06am

Hi just wandering if the low is from a cyclone development as it looks like one is developing now to the north of us. When will you have the next update of this as the all important wiggles concert is in auckland next saturday and do not fancy taking my three year old out in a storm. Keep up the good work, I find your sight really good.

WW Forecast Team on 15/04/2011 5:18am

Hi there – there’s a possibility that the low north west of NZ (west of New Caledonia at the top of our sat map) may become a brief tropical cyclone but it’s not expected to survice.  Fiji Met has low confidence at this stage.

Next week we think a low will cross the country most likely on Sunday – meaning a dry Friday and Saturday.  Still a lot of uncertainty in the long range models so we’ll update again on Saturday.

Thanks for the feedback too!

– WeatherWatch Weekends

Ken Ring on 14/04/2011 8:35am

Longrange forecast for NZ over Easter.
(these are opinions, not predictions)
Easter Friday: showers and fine spells in NI, fine for top of SI, wet Kaikoura Coast, rest mostly dry.
Saturday: showers NI and east of SI. Mostly dry along W and S coasts.
Sunday: showers along E coasts and Wellington. Fine or becoming fine elsewhere.
Monday: showers N and E of NI and S of SI. Dry elsewhere.
Tuesday: showers N half of NI, W and S of SI, spreading to Cant. and Marl. Rest mostly dry.

Overall: some rain for most (except BoP and parts of inland Otago), especially Saturday/Sunday. Otago and parts of BoP may be cool enough for frosts.

Allow at least 1-day and 50-80 miles radius error in all forecasting.

Phil on 15/04/2011 3:16am

Ken, you are entitled to your opinion but please don’t use other people’s web pages to push your own ideas. If you want to make your forecasts public use your own forums.

Editors note: This is not Phil as in Philip Duncan. 

Ken Ring on 15/04/2011 4:36am

You are free to not read what I write. I posted my take on next weekend simply because Phil said “early days yet” and people may want to make plans now. My system is longrange and I believe Phil’s is what I would call extended range. Plenty of people use my pages to express their ideas. I can’t see the problem. It’s not as if I post something every day.

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