Windy weather across New Zealand is only just getting started according to WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters, saying just because the classic spring westerlies arrived early this year doesn’t mean they will end any sooner.
The long range forecast for the start of October shows the windy weather is with us for the next few weeks at least.
“We’re seeing a lot of highs over Australia and north of New Zealand” says WeatherWatch.co.nz head forecaster Philip Duncan “Over the next two or three weeks we expect to see these highs drifting more into the New Zealand area, but they are a double edged sword as surrounding these large highs lies some of the windiest weather”.
This map below, for October 1st, shows a classic spring set up with windy westerlies blasting across New Zealand from the Roaring Forties (the belt of strong westerlies that roar around the Southern Ocean most of the year – but are especially famous in spring). It also shows an increase in high pressure from Australia.
“Windy weather is often frustrating for people, it can even make us a bit cranky – but for farmers and gardeners dealing with water logged properties the windy weather will be welcome due to the drying nature it brings” says Mr Duncan.
In fact in recent weeks the westerlies have returned eastern New Zealand (of both islands) back to normal soil moisture levels. For much of the past half year regions like coastal Otago, Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay were wetter than usual, more so than most parts of New Zealand. The recent windy, warm, westerlies have helped dry conditions out and while we do still plenty more rain bands and downpours coming in for western regions, the spring pattern usually sees a drying out trend.
This year the western drying trend may begin at a snails pace for those nearest to the Tasman Sea.
Normally we’d expect to see these highs approaching northern New Zealand, which does seem to be in the forecast. However our chaotic weather pattern this year also remains – which also indicates more large lows may be in the mix for the country as we head into October.
– Image / Air pressure map for October 1st shows a classic windy spring set up.