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Why NZers shouldn’t be surprised we have spring-like weather until Christmas

The days before Christmas are now appearing in the long range computer models and a theme is becoming clear: we have chaotic weather for the rest of December. But really, should that be a surprise?

New Zealand’s location on earth is highly exposed to changeable weather conditions, with over half of the country in the Roaring Forties (a belt of strong windy, changeable, weather) coupled with our mountains and ranges it ensures New Zealand often has unsettled and vastly different weather across our regions, with the exception of the peak of summer. In other words, December weather can be chaotic.

The long range pattern is showing more chaos too. This week we have a lot of high pressure, but like a tyre with a puncture this high oddly has a low stuck within it, meaning many places have light winds and calm conditions but in the afternoon big downpours with thunderstorms are possible. The North Island looks especially vulnerable to these inland downpours every day until Sunday.

Next week, in the days before Christmas, a potential stormy low in the Tasman Sea may create a burst of wind and rain for New Zealand – it’s been showing up for a few days now but please note, this is definitely not confirmed yet. As for Christmas Day, perhaps warm to hot westerlies will be the theme but we’ll need until at least this weekend to try and lock that in. says our location on earth means New Zealand tends to have long spring and autumn seasons and shorter summers and winters. While the meteorological start to summer is on December 1st the astronomical start to summer (measured by earth’s axis/cycle around the sun) means summer doesn’t technically start for another two and a half weeks (December 22nd)… which makes this chaotic weather pattern we have for the two weeks ahead make even more sense.

Keep an eye on the 10 day Rain maps in our MAPS tab for more understanding on the set up as we head towards Christmas Day.



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