In a fairly similar set up to last year a dry spring for many regions is starting to give way to La Nina rain, cloud, humidity and easterlies.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says while unsettled spring-like conditions will continue over some parts of the country this month the overall trend is seeing the weather systems slowing down – and the most significant change, at least for northern New Zealand, is the shift from westerlies to humid easterlies.
Late last week showers and periods of rain affected Bay of Plenty, parts of Waikato and other central North Island areas as humid nor’easters drove in the rain clouds.
Those winds were brisk at times for a number of days.
The flow was caused by a high to the east of NZ fuelling the east to north east winds across the upper North Island.
WeatherWatch.co.nz head weather analyst Philip Duncan says just like 2010, December 2011 is seeing a big jump in humidity and expected rain events for dry parts of the country, especially northern regions of both islands.
“If you don’t like humidity then you may not like the next couple of weeks. We see a fair amount of east to north east winds across the Top Half of the North Island and at times they’ll spread across the rest of the country”.
Mr Duncan says the highs are now tracking across central New Zealand rather than north of the country as they did over Spring and this shift has effectively opened up the gates to the sub-tropics.
“We’re going to see more humid air being pulled down over the country over the next 10 to 14 days”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says the weekend rain may have been timed badly for many but conditions were starting to significantly dry out. Many farmers, gardeners and those that rely on rain water will be very relieved about the downpours.
And there’s more rain to come.
Rain and showers are again expected for today as a low in the Tasman drifts in.
By Wednesday a high will push in from the west and remain in place until about Tuesday of next week. “Then we expect another large rain band with sub-tropical connections to line up with New Zealand in a very similar way to the rain that moved through this past weekend, with a high to the east to slow its movement down bringing a good soaking for the north and west especially” says Mr Duncan.
According to WeatherWatch.co.nz December can traditionally be a changeable month but conditions tend to become more settled from January to March.
– Homepage image / File, Whangarei Falls after heavy rain / Paul Herbert
on 5/12/2011 9:18pm
Nice rumbly thunderstorm moving into Nelson right now at 10am. It’s very slow moving so there should be some decent falls out of this one.
on 5/12/2011 6:44pm
You talk of the moisture laden eaterlies and rain for a sigmificant part of the country. What about the south of the South Island? We’re starting to significantly dry out, especially following the ferocious gales of a week and a half ago.
on 5/12/2011 7:47pm
Hi Peter, we can’t always mention every region in our stories but you’re quite right – the south of the South Island can get especially dry with both La Nina and El Nino. Coastal Otago tends to fair a little better but certainly conditions may well stay very dry for you over the summer months if the rain makers continue coming in from the north.
How did you do last summer?
on 5/12/2011 10:22pm
Just be careful with your headlines and I agree with other comments about the South island being dry and cooler not wet and humid with La Nina. Rest of the story good but since yesterday afternoon both headlines about La Nina and wet and humidity-ooopss!.Please stop generalising Philip but love u xxx
on 6/12/2011 8:50pm
I have to agree late spring and early summer started well in Invercargill but come the week of xmas it turned to crap and never really did improve that much i spent alot of January in Te Anau and it wasn’t the reatest weather they have had either. Lets hope we acutally get a summer this year not the crap we had last summer.