The spring-like pattern which is this morning bringing gales to Wellington with gusts this hour to 100km/h is finally starting to wind down say WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters.
The squash zone, caused by high pressure north east of New Zealand and low pressure in the Southern Ocean, is currently over the South Island and lower North Island, bringing windy conditions which continue to increase this morning.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says wind gusts are now high enough in Wellington to delay some smaller regional flights.
Another south west change will spread up across the nation by the end of the weekend although in Wellington winds will stay mostly northerly with gales possible up until the end of Sunday, then remaining windy until about Tuesday night.
In Auckland, Coromandel and Northland there may be a few early Saturday and late Sunday showers, otherwise dry – and driest weather will certainly be east of the main ranges (places like the Bay of Islands, Hahei, Whangamata, Mt Maunganui, Gisborne etc).
Canterbury and many eastern areas of New Zealand will have some of the sunniest weather in the week ahead, thanks to that west to south west flow.
However Dunedin may still be in for a few showers early to mid-next week.
“Overall the weather pattern is sliding in to a more settled, summer, pattern. The next couple weeks, after this weekend, look more settled for much of New Zealand” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan. “However the incoming big high from Australia may not give perfectly settled weather to the deep south, where Southern Ocean systems continue to keep the weather slightly more changeable there”.
Mr Duncan says farmers are generally very happy with weather conditions however northern parts of New Zealand will need rain again within 3 weeks to avoid extra stress going into February and March – traditionally very dry months.
“Compared to this time last year many places seem to be in a better condition but just a few weeks ago many farmers well telling us they were concerned about a new drought. So while the rain has been great for them, it’s worth remembering we don’t have a lot of water in the bank just yet”.