It’s the news many New Zealanders won’t want to hear – yet more rain is on the way, and less snow, as two large Tasman Sea lows move in.
WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters first mentioned these lows last week and latest predictions show the North Island will likely be exposed to the bulk of the rain.
“The first low and next set of rain bands will start Tuesday and then ease around Thursday, then the next bigger and deeper low arrives just in time for the weekend” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan. “This means more heavy rain for saturated regions like Coromandel, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says eastern and northern parts of the South Island may also receive heavy rain – a top up from heavy rain last week.
“Parts of western Bay of Plenty have had over half a metre of rain in the past four weeks, this rain will no longer be welcome by most North Islanders” says Mr Duncan, but he says some in the south may not mind one more top up after a fairly dry winter so far.
Rain from the first low may be heavy enough to cause further slips and flooding but WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters are not predicting widespread problems over the next couple of days.
The second low, which arrives at the weekend, will be bigger in size and have slightly deeper air pressure – and will reach up into the sub-tropics. “Latest computer models show more sub-tropical air over the North Island where it has been flowing off and on for the past three weeks, this means we have a much higher risk of slow moving torrential downpours and more of these mild days and nights”.
Some regions have been several degrees above average this past week, in what is historically the coldest part of the year – and yet again most of New Zealand will be frost free this week.
10 days ago Philip Duncan predicted that the coldest part of winter had most likely already been and gone – with warmer weather usually creeping in from mid-August regardless of the current warm spell. “Almost exactly a year ago we had snow flakes falling in Auckland City – this year the city is experiencing sub-tropical downpours, double digit overnight lows and mostly warm days”.
While snow storms and frosts are possible right up until October in New Zealand, the chance for prolonged cold spells is rapidly fading. “We have over an hour more sunlight today than we did on the shortest day of the year back in June and every week that goes by the sun feels warmer and stays up a little longer”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says the forecast around the Central Plateau ski fields will offer a mix of rain and snow over the coming week but no significantly heavy snow falls to lower altitudes.
In July WeatherWatch.co.nz predicted a wet and warm first half to August and the latest forecast is that the second half of August still looks set to be drier than the first half with a potential high for northern New Zealand next week. Mild weather is also expected although overnight lows will likely drop again, as they return to more normal levels for this time of year.