Updated 8:40am — They have been relentless for the past month – and this coming weekend will be no different as yet another large Tasman Sea low takes aim for New Zealand bringing more flooding and slip risks.
Since mid July the nation has seen a significant step up in heavy rain makers completely fixing any areas that were not too long ago getting low on water, like North Otago and South Canterbury.
Heavy rain – which continues to fall today across many eastern regions – has caused dozens of highway closures, detours and partial closures mainly in eastern facing regions.
WeatherWatch.co.nz – which predicted in March that NZ had a high chance of snow storms and southerlies for the first half of winter, then predicted in July a much warmer and wetter period for early August says it’s still hopeful for a drier end to this month with increased westerlies…but it may not be dry for everyone.
“With westerlies we tend to see eastern areas dry out and warm up while western areas, particularly in the South Island, may see more cloud and wet days” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
“Temperatures are also more likely to return to average for many areas with less of a sub-tropical element to the equation”.
Mr Duncan made the call at the end of July that the worst of winter was already behind us, despite being in the coldest part of the year. Writing in his weekly WeatherWatch.co.nz column on Saturday mornings Philip said the wetter, warmer, July pattern would last until mid-August”.
The incoming low for this weekend may be the last of the big lows with some models showing more spring-like westerlies following after, however WeatherWatch.co.nz says it’s still too early to confirm with the weather currently so unsettled around the country.
The rest of August
Today WeatherWatch.co.nz says the rest of August will be generally mild with average rainfall. The weather news authority has also eased it’s General NZ snow risk (for snow to sea level) to moderate for the next two months. “This time last year we still had a high risk for snow to sea level and on this Monday a year ago we had snow falling in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. This year we’re in a much warmer pattern”.
The easing of the risk means, generally speaking, conditions should stay mild or around average. It doesn’t rule out the risks of further severe frosts, southerlies and snow storms – but the moderate rating used exclusively by WeatherWatch.co.nz does signal that prolonged nationwide cold spells are looking less likely.
*Updated Story *
Another low this coming weekend
And more warm, wet, weather is the on the way.
WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters predict another low will again drive bitterly cold, wet and windy weather to eastern Australia while at the same time pulling down warm, sub-tropical conditions over northern New Zealand along with a moderate risk of more rain warnings for New Zealand.
During this past weekend Aucklanders woke to 15 degrees on Sunday morning while on the other side of the Tasman residents west of Sydney had snow with strong, cold, southerlies.
The timing of this next low remains messy – but our feeling is that it will move in across the weekend, starting as early as Friday night for some and as late as Sunday for others. We’ll continue to monitor very closely and should be able to nail down details tomorrow.
– Homepage image / Noelle Bennett