WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters are predicting a spring-like weekend with mild to warm weather for most regions, ahead of a cold change late Sunday and into Monday.
“Two very large highs are controlling our weather at the moment” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan. “One to the west in the Tasman, the other to the east in the Pacific. However this weekend the Tasman Sea high will fail to really centre itself over New Zealand – instead it’s being challenged by an aggressive south west change that will blast out of the Southern Ocean over Sunday, Monday and Tuesday”.
Mr Duncan says weather conditions this weekend will be warm and dry but windy weather is predicted to move in to eastern and central New Zealand, especially on Sunday.
This map shows the windy, cooler, change moving in towards New Zealand on Saturday.
Blues indicate lighter winds, yellows, oranges, reds indicate strong to gale force conditions, purple indicates hurricane force. This map is for 12 noon Saturday / see all our maps here
WeatherWatch.co.nz says the blustery northwesterlies will boost daytime highs into the low 20s this Saturday or Sunday for some regions Our detailed Christchurch forecast calls for a high of 22 degrees on Sunday, followed by 15 degrees and cool sou’westers on Monday. The wind chill will make it feel another degree or two cooler as well.
“The cold change will be noticeable especially for western and southern regions on Monday and Tuesday” says Philip Duncan. “Parts of Southland and Otago will reach into the low 20s this weekend, by early next week some places may not even reach double digit highs”.
Cold snaps at this time of the year cause serious concerns for growers and farmers, but WeatherWtach.co.nz says snow will be limited to higher altitude farmers – and windy weather should keep frosts at bay for many – but not all – regions next week. We’ll have more details on the frost risks early next week once we know more.
And if you want another big high, you may be in luck. All models are picking what appears to be one of the largest, if not the largest, high pressure system of 2012 heading towards us later next week.
The high is predicted to cover an area larger than Australia – but it’s too early to know how many days of settled weather it will bring to New Zealand, and which regions will be most impacted. We’ll have full details early next week on this anticyclone.