The first weekend of October looks set to be a rough one for some parts of New Zealand as spring gales continue to pound southern and eastern parts of both islands.
The famous nor’wester kicked into gear yesterday pushing temperatures up by about 20 degrees from the time most people woke up until afternoon. Those winds are now expected to crank up even more today, across the weekend and into next week.
“It’s a classic set up with heavy rain in the west and gales in the east” says Philip Duncan, head weather analyst at weatherwatch.co.nz. “With a strong high pressure system that’s wider than Australia to the north of us and an even bigger area of low pressure between us and Antarctica we’re in for a number of windy days”.
Last night winds were gusting close to 115km/h on Stewart Island and those strong winds will move in to Wellington today.
“The gusty nor’westers will move up the South Island today and will build across Wellington as the day progresses. By Saturday gale force winds will blast across Wellington with strong gusty winds reaching most of the lower half of the North Island and into Gisborne”.
Mr Duncan says the strong winds will again push temperatures into the mid to upper 20s in the east. “October is an extremely windy month and those strong, dry, winds really drive up the temperatures. From Gisborne to Dunedin highs near 25 degrees are likely with some inland regions possibly pushing closer to 30”.
Heavy rain is also likely across the west coast of both islands, especially in the ranges.
More heavy winds are likely next week too as the large high and lows create a ‘squeeze zone’ of pressure across New Zealand. “It’s easy to tell we’re in October with this sort of weather” says Duncan.
Auckland is also likely to see strong winds and rain or showers over the next several days. “Sunday looks to be windy with a few showers developing and heading into next week that westerly stream of strong winds and rain or showers will continue”. However Duncan says the colder sou’westers will ease today with conditions feeling significantly warmer across the weekend.