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No big highs coming – but the forecast isn’t just rain & gloom for NZ…

New Zealand is stuck in an early spring rut this year, with no large anticyclones on the way for the nation in the near future (the next week or two at least). However – don’t get too depressed, we do have some silver linings (every cloud has one!).

The current pattern is pretty much a classic spring set up. We’re seeing a mix of warm days and colder ones. We’re seeing windy days and calm ones. We’re seeing the bulk of the rain fall in the west again, while the east has longer dry spells – thanks to the westerlies.

This pattern is likely to continue on for the rest of September – with Fiordland (a rain forest) taking the bulk of the wet weather. The further north you go the lower the totals should be (very generally speaking).

Eastern areas look even drier – although another low coming into the North Island this Sunday and Monday may produce rain in Canterbury and another cold southerly for a day or two.

There is a much greater chance of low pressure systems and cold fronts crossing New Zealand than high pressure systems and calm days this month – but between the lows we have dry weather or at least longer periods of dry. Still, the downpours/showers here and there do have a cumulative affect – and they are becoming very annoying for some in the west and north. (Like today – it’s drier, warmer then the past few days but still some big downpours here and there).

Weather data points to a warmer trend overall for the next few weeks. The cold blast at the weekend was likely the biggest of the month and while other southerlies are expected they may not be quite so big or so nationwide.


  • Generally milder weather coming over the next few days
  • Plenty of long dry spells in the mix of the next 14 days (amongst the downpours and lows)
  • Windy westerlies but dry spells = good drying out weather
  • Dry in the east for the most part this week and coming weekend


  • More periods of rain and showers crossing New Zealand off and on for the next couple of weeks
  • Another cold snap coming this Sunday and Monday with a southerly from the Southern Ocean
  • Rain may return to Canterbury early next week for a time, with isolated heavy falls (yet to be locked in).

Where are the highs?
They are currently over Australia or tracking north of New Zealand. At some point they will extend back to New Zealand but for now the lows and unsettled/chaotic spring westerlies are more dominant in New Zealand. This is quite normal for this time of the year, but perhaps a bit hard to stomach for some after what has been an exceptionally wet Autumn and Winter for some regions.

It’s possible one of these highs from Austrlia will briefly cross our country in the next week or two, but nothing rock solid or set in. This is classic spring now.

– Image / Rain map for Thursday September 21st shows the spring westerly pattern continuing

– By head forecaster Philip Duncan,


Guest on 12/09/2017 2:05am

We’ve had over 2.5m of rain this year, when is it going to stop? Sick of living in a bog and never seeing the sun. It’s the Bay of Plenty (of rain)!

WW Forecast Team on 12/09/2017 2:44am

Hi there. Wow that’s a lot of rain! The average in many main centres is around 1 metre (1000mms) (give or take a few hundred mms). The good news is that this westerly flow will encourage more wind (which dries things out). We also see days with little to no shower activity too. But, still some rain makers. So while a slightly drier trend, we’re not breaking out of this pattern yet.

Phil D 

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