NZ is going through an unsettled, windy, cooler phase of weather as high pressure remains stuck over Australia.
As drought and bushfires continue across Australia stubborn large high pressure there won’t budge much. Some of these highs have been extending to northern NZ in recent months, where some places are drier than average. However now the high pressure belt will (for the next seveal days anyway) remain over south eastern Australia and not NZ.
**This story was originaly published on Jan 4**
Now that we’ve entered January many people are baffled about why it’s so unsettled. So what’s the deal with this weather?
- New Zealand has several very windy days coming up (easing around Thursday January 9th).
- High pressure is over Australia and won’t budge. Low pressure and storms are in the Southern Ocean. This places NZ in the ‘squash zone’ between highs and lows – the windy area in between.
- WeatherWatch.co.nz has maintained for years that NZ’s location on earth means we tend to get a short two month winter and short two month summer. The rest of the time it’s an extended spring and autumn weather pattern.
- This particular current set up encourages cooler air from out of the Southern Ocean over NZ, dropping our temperatures at times from this weekend and until about the end of next week.
- Windy phases like this can last a week or so, usually with a calmer spell after (which is expected this time).
- Summer in NZ usually peaks from mid January to early March, so we’ve got time to recover from a slow start.
- Our location on our earth makes windy weather normal, even if we don’t want it.
- Auckland is a narrow area, expect the first week or so of January to be windier than it has been.
- Strongest winds look to peak this coming Monday and Tuesday with gales over 120km/h in some exposed areas in the South Isand and lower North Island and gales (half that speed) possible up to Auckland.
- Coolest air looks to peak Monday to Wednesday nationwide with some places in the lower South Island failing to even reach the teens next week. (see your local forecast for more details). Hotter weather returns by next weekend.
News stories that dig deeper on the current windy weather:
THE SPECIFIC SET UP ON MONDAY:
ABOVE: Air pressure + rain maps for Monday.
BELOW: Same map but with wind arrows added.
High pressure shifts a little off Australia but very much stays stuck on the western side of the Tasman Sea. Meanwhile a huge area of low pressure, with a storm inside it, hugs NZ’s eastern side. The result? A squash zone of wind and cooler airflows over NZ.