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The summer easterlies have arrived!

I have to admit it – I love the easterly winds that blow in summer across the upper North Island.  This summer, due to the position of many anticyclones, Auckland has had frequent winds off the Tasman Sea, from the west or south west.

This wind direction is often cloudier and cooler.  Add into that a few southerlies too and Auckland – along with a number of regions – have experiened temperatures that have at least felt cooler than other years.

But this month we’ve seen winds from the easterly quarter many times – south easterlies that make for hot sunny days across Waikato, easterlies that blow in across Northland and Auckland with more warmth and humidity, and the nor’easters which are now frequently fanning down the county.

The east to north east flow that is starting to dominte the north is also bringing humidity out of the sub-tropics.  We’re now experiencing days with ‘feels like’ temperatures sometimes several degrees above the predicted air temperature in the shade (the daytime highs).

Out on my deck in Auckland the easterly blows through like a tropical breeze…ok, maybe not truly 30+ degrees but with a hot sun and high humidity the feels like temperature in many parts of the country is now making it feel like it’s over 30 in the afternoons.  Ask a courier driver, farmer or anyone who has to move around outdoors during the middle of the day! Some parts of the country are now getting stinking hot due to this air flow.  

While the cooler sou’westers are likely to return by the end of the week/start of the weekend in Auckland (with the wind flow ahead of it boosting inland Canterbury into the early 30s on Friday), has high confidence of summer-like weather continuing into March for many parts of New Zealand – especially the north.   

The sou’west changes which have been frequent this summer may well start to intensify as we go through March for southern areas – but at this stage, nothing too significant on the horizon.

– By head weather analyst Philip Duncan



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