We have a significant change in our weather pattern and it kicks off today. Here’s what it means for New Zealand.
Put simply high pressure that has been tracking over New Zealand and the Tasman Sea areas has now shifted further south, down around the lower South Island. This shift away from northern NZ has allowed the tropics to expand/grow rapidly and over the coming two weeks we see a number of large tropical storms and lows developing just to our north.
This weather pattern shift starts today with easterlies in the north, more cloud and showers. The easterly quarter winds will continue for at least a week or two (perhaps a couple of brief wind direction changes in the mix).
Humidity is set to increase.
As of this Monday the first in a series of tropical lows to form to our north will slowly track past New Zealand, to our east. Humidity levels are likely to jump, especially in the upper North Island and eastern areas. There may be low cloud and even some fog about. Humidity levels may reach 100% for a time as the tropical air mass is dragged down over northern parts of the North Island by one of these lows. Later next week another storm to our north may do the same.
For farmers monitoring facial eczema this may also see a jump in the spore count after a quiet start to 2019 thanks to the mainly dry weather up until now.
Heat transfers from east to west.
The new wind flow means a reverse in where the biggest heat will be now too. Summer heat now gets pushed into more western and southern parts of both main islands with highs in the late 20s and early 30s, while eastern areas get a bit of a cool down.
Humid weather will most likely impact the upper half of the North Island and the east coast of both islands. There will be some fairly warm humid nights ahead for the north and east too with overnight lows in the late teens, maybe early 20s for a time in the upper north.
ABOVE: Today Feb 7 (Yellow = comfortable, dark green less comfortable with higher humidity).
BELOW: Next Wednesday Feb 13