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Warm, strong, norwester sees overnight lows rocket
Is Winter now over?!


Finally after a month of overnight lows close to minus 10 and daytime highs lucky to break the zero degree mark, the South Island is being treated to much warmer weather.
The Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan says that’s due to some strong winds.  “A large high to the north and a deep low south of the country is creating some strong westerlies across bottom half of the country”. 
Duncan says overnight lows dipped only to around 9 or 10 degrees in central otago, about 20 degrees warmer than the coldest nights recently. 
He says Stewart Island and coastal Southland have been hammered by winds gusting to 115km/h.
“It’s looking like a frost free week and weekend for the South Island”. is predicting milder temperatures until Sunday.
And our South Island weather analyst says the windy weather isn’t good for ski field operators.  Richard Green says many skifields in the South are either closed or on hold. 
Green says temperatures in and around Christchurch has soared this morning.  “It’s currently 15 degrees in Lyttleton and 14 in Christchurch itself”.  He says those in Central Otago must be thinking Spring has come early.
So is winter over?  Yes and no according Philip Duncan.  “I would say we’ve probably seen the coldest temperatures of the year now and the daytime highs appear to be lifting somewhat in the North, but we have a very long way to go yet”. 
He says the days are becoming longer, most noticeably in the evening, and that increased sunlight is starting to warm things up a little.  “But severe snow storms and heavy frosts are possible well into August and September”.  In fact is predicting severe frosts to return next week to Central Otago.
- Central Otago will see highs back into double digits this weekend before colder weather arrives next week.
- Heavy rain on the way for the West Coast of the South Island today and again on Friday/Saturday.
- More dry, sunny, weather for Northland this week.  Showers, if any at all, will be very light and short lived.
- Hawke’s Bay will be basking in a high today of up to 18 degrees thanks to the nor’wester.



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Why China is spending $50 million US dollars a year on Weather Modification
And how involved are New Zealand and Australia

For over 50 years now governments around the world have tried, and mostly failed, to cloud seed.   Cloud seeding is basically a form of weather modification.  Using chemicals that are dropped into clouds (by plane) or blasted into (by rockets) the idea is to increase the amount of rain in clouds.

In America cloud seeding trials are being carried out for a variety of reasons.  In drought affected areas the government is seeding clouds to create rain.  In airports prone to fog they are experimenting with ways to reduce the amount of fog and in states affected by large hail storms trials are being performed to reduce the size of hail.  At this stage nothing ground breaking has been uncovered.  Some ski filed operators in the US and Canada are also getting involved with trials to boost snow fall.  Trials were also done in Hurricanes but fears that they might ‘get it wrong’ and create worse hurricanes meant the trials were cancelled.
But it’s China that’s stealing the lime light when it comes to this unusual practice, spending 50 million US dollars a year as part of their weather modification project.   This is to try and make the rain fall in drought affected areas, including Beijing.  The Chinese fire rockets into the sky and they do believe they’re achieving more rainfall leading to neighbouring countries to accuse them of “stealing rain”.  Of course rockets aren’t the safest form of doing this and a number have gone off target and slammed into houses and people.  (must be using American intelligence!)
You may have already heard that China has guaranteed fine weather for the Olympics in August next year.  Unfortunately August is their wet month with lots of summer induced rain and the opening ceremony will be in an uncovered stadium.  The plan is that the 50 million dollar a year research will mean that if rain clouds start to build before the ceremony then they’ll fire rockets up and prematurely make the rain fall our of them…leaving the clouds rain-free by the start of the ceremony.   So easy!  Unfortunately at this stage…it doesn’t really work.
You might think that’s a complete waste of money… I would have to agree if it’s purely to ensure a dry Olympics… but if the Chinese actually manage to create a way to make rain fall can you imagine what that would mean for the drought affected areas of the world.  Well it would certainly mean huge dollars for the Chinese but it would also mean a huge boost in the quality of life for dry areas around the globe.
In Australia the New South Wales opposition has called for cloud seeding trials to start again in the state.  Trials were abandoned in the 1990’s when the Labor Government came into power.  Some testing has carried on the Snow Mountains but the opposition wants to see that extended further.  Inducing rain could be a life saver for many farms affected by Australia’s arid conditions.
Over twenty countries around the world are actively involved in weather modification trials.  New Zealand is not one of them. According to NIWA “So far we do not know enough about clouds and how to seed them, to be sure of the effects. We might make less rain when we want more, or more hail when we want less. So cloud seeding is not done in New Zealand”.  Trials were carried out in the 1950s using planes to drop dry ice in the clouds to bring rain to dry farms.  The trial was unsuccessful.
A spokesman at MetService said back in the 1860s trials were conducted where cannons were used to shoot clouds in the hopes it would alter rainfall.  Don’t think that brilliant idea worked too well.  In the 1970s the New Zealand Government dropped silver iodide from planes over Marlborough in the hopes they could create rain to ease droughts.  But if the air is dry and there are no clouds then there is no point in seeding.  It makes about as much sense as planting plant seeds on top of concrete instead of in the soil.
So whether cloud seeding can ever truly work is yet to be seen…but quite often it’s the craziest ideas that end up working.  So I say keep the research going.
- Gales set to develop in central and eastern parts of New Zealand later this week.
- Most South Island centres should be frost free for the rest of the week.



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Christchurch, Wellington, Napier all in firing line for strong winds this week.

It’s been many months since New Zealand’s famous nor’wester has blown and by the end of this week eastern parts of the country will be feeling it again.  A large high pressure system in the Tasman Sea will spread to the north of New Zealand and will squeeze against a deep low in the southern ocean causing strong nor’westerlies to develop.
“The start of the week will be calm and cold but by Wednesday strong winds will be affecting Christchurch, Wellington and Napier with gales possible in exposed places.  That means a definite end to frosts for most if not all towns and cities in the South Island for a number of  days” says the Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
“Day time highs are likely to return to the mid even upper teens”
“A few months ago the nor’westers were bringing drought conditions to Hawke’s Bay, but this time around the farmers will be pleased to have the warm, dry conditions return”.
However the westerly airflow means a return to traditional winter weather for western areas.  Heavy rain is expected off and on this week in the South Island’s southern and west coasts, as far inland as Queenstown, while New Plymouth and Taranaki will see showers.  “In Waikato and Auckland you can expect a pretty good start to the week but those sou’westers could drag in some cloudy periods and maybe the odd shower, especially tomorrow.
And there’s more good news for the other flood ravaged region of the country – Northland.  “This week the centre of a high, not a low, will be anchored over the far north, meaning plenty of sun and temperatures around 15 or 16 degrees.  There is the risk of a shower, but they should be light and brief if any at all”.
Duncan says the change in the weather pattern could be an indicator that the coldest part of winter has come to an end.
- Frosts and black ice still likely tonight in the South Island.
- predicts westerlies for the next 10 days.
- Major flooding in the UK. A months rainfall in a day for some parts.


WARM AIR TO COLLIDE WITH COLD: Thunderstorms, Snow, Rain.

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Driving concerns in both islands


Two weather systems are about to collide over New Zealand and that means severe weather for a number of regions. 
The Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the systems are coming in from each end of the country.  “A low near Auckland will slowly move over the North Island tonight, while a cold front bringing Antarctic air will move up the South Island today to reach Central Plateau overnight tonight”.  Duncan says as the wet warm air meets the cold southerly it will quickly turn to snow.  “The Desert Road is at risk, as is the Napier Taupo highway, the Rimutaka Ranges highway and any farms prone to snow in winter”.
MetService is also warning of heavy snow for the Central Plateau and higher regions of Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne ranges. 
“Sunday morning is when the snow will start falling in these parts, but it will be preceded by rain, heavy in some areas”.  Duncan says thunderstorms are possible from Waikato northwards this afternoon as the low in the Tasman moves directly towards Auckland.  The news of heavy rain and showers will not be well received in Northland where many communities are still cleaning up from the major floods 2 weeks ago.  “There is the potential for localised flash flooding and further slips in Northland today, and that risk will shift to Napier tonight and tomorrow morning as rain moves in there”.
And it’s not just motorists in the north that should be on alert, drivers in Southland and Central Otago could be in for more black ice, sleet and snow today.  “It’s currently around minus 3 to minus 8 across Central Otago and with a front set to bring in some rain that could see black ice forming on roads”.  In Invercargill it’s currently 2 degrees with rain.  Snow may also fall in Queenstown today.
So will it rain for tonight’s big rugby test?  “Well that’s about as close to pick as which team will win.  At this stage it appears the main band of rain should’ve cleared the region, however there’s a 60% chance of heavy showers and there may even be a flash of lightening”.  Conditions are expected to be mild with a temperature around 11 or 12 degrees for the game with low cloud above and almost no wind.



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A band of severe thunderstorms is gaining strength off the west coast of Auckland and is set to make landfall after dark.
“There is a swarm of thunderstorms with lightening detectors picking up hundreds of flashes off shore this afternoon” says the head weather analyst at the Radio Network, Philip Duncan.  “Residents from Waikato to Northland should be on high alert this evening as localised downpours could cause flash flooding, surface flooding and slips within minutes”.
Duncan expects the first set of thunderstorms to make landfall around dusk with Auckland, and especially northern regions of the city, being in the firing line after 6pm.  “It could be a very wet rugby game tonight”.
The latest rain radar shows a swarm of thunderstorms 100 kilometres out to sea, stretching from Hamilton to Whangarei with the centre looking set to affect Auckland.
Drivers heading to tonight’s rugby game in Auckland should be aware that conditions could be hazardous.
Heavy showers are likely to remain over the top half of the country all night, although the risks for thunderstorms afternoon midnight will be lower.



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More rain for Hawke’s Bay
Snow for ski fields & Desert Rd
A chance for the North to dry out next week


The term “a mixed bag” couldn’t be more relevant as the weekend’s weather draws nearer. Heavy rain, possible thunderstorms, frosts, snow, a change in the wind direction and then drier, sunnier, weather are all in the forecast.  The Radio Network’s Head Weather Analyst explains why:
What’s happening…
“There are three factors controlling our weather over the next 72 hours.  A large low in the Tasman will bring more rain to the North Island during Friday and Saturday.  Following that a cold front from another low near Antarctica will race up the country bringing snow to low levels over both islands.  Then a large high, currently south of Australia, will spread over the North Island drying things out and creating westerlies over the South Island that could bring an end to severe frosts”.
Heavy rain for Hawke’s Bay…
Duncan says more rain over Hawke’s Bay during Friday has the potential to become heavy at any time.  “A front has stalled over the region and although it’s lost a lot of its puff the low in the Tasman is likely to feed it more moisture.  I advise residents across Hawke’s Bay to be well aware that the risk of more heavy rain remains very high during Friday, Saturday and into Sunday morning”.
The cold snap set to move up New Zealand should make landfall in Southland in the very early hours of Saturday.  Sleet is expected to sea level with snow down to low levels.  Duncan says 24 hours later it should be moving over the North Island bringing with it a “noticeable cold change to the entire North Island by the end of Sunday”. is forecasting snow to fall on the Desert Road between midnight Saturday and noon Sunday and MetService advises snow could also fall on Napier-Taupo road and the Rimutaka Ranges highway.
Sunny, dry weather on the way…
But it’s not all doom and gloom.  Ski fields will no doubt be happy with the heavy snow likely over the weekend and with a large high approaching early next week residents in Hawke’s Bay and Northland will be relieved that drier weather is on the way.  “This high should spread over the North Island during Sunday night and Monday.  Conditions should be mainly dry for a lot of New Zealand during next week with fine and frosty weather for Hawke’s Bay accompanied by drying westerlies”. 
And it’s this High that’s expected to break some frosts.  “Although it’s still too early to be 100% certain, some models are showing westerlies to pick up over the South Island next week between the high in the north and lows in the Southern Ocean.  That will warm things up just a little and hopefully break some of these severe frosts”.
- MetService also warning more heavy rain possible from Northland to Hawke’s Bay.
- 10 day forecasts provided by show easterlies switching to westerlies for most of New Zealand.
- Could be some thunder rumbles over northern and western parts of the North Island on Saturday.



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There has been weeks of frosts in the South and weeks of mild rain in the North but conditions are about to change.  Yet another large low has rapidly developed in the Tasman bringing fierce conditions to Eastern Australia and the rain from this storm has its sights set on northern and eastern New Zealand.  This is about the 6th time this has happened in just over a month.
“The showers will start overnight tonight with rain or showers developing Friday from Northland then later spreading down to Hawke’s Bay and Wellington during Saturday” according to the Radio Network’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan.  “This rain will be targeting the same areas hit by floods over the past week and a half – Northland and Hawke’s Bay”.  Duncan says state owned forecaster MetService is also closely watching the development of this low.  “This low seems very unpredictable so it’s very important listeners keep up to date with the latest forecasts”.   However forecasters are not expecting a repeat of the severe weather seen over the past 2 weeks.  “Both regions should expect short but potentially very heavy showers from this system, which could cause isolated problems”.
Heavy rain is again falling in Napier this morning but forecasters believe the heaviest rain should shift northwards today around the Mahia/Gisborne region leaving only later rain in Napier and Hastings.
But a cold snap following behind this storm, which brought the coldest morning to Sydney in 21 years and snow and frosts to south eastern Australia, looks set to break the frosts in Central and Southern parts of the South Island and finally bring sou’westers back to the North.  “Invercargill will get some very cold but windy and wet weather this weekend and that will spread quickly up the country during Saturday and Sunday”. is predicting snow flurries in Waiouru and the Desert Road, during Saturday.  TRN’s Weather Watch Centre advises motorists travelling across the Central Plateau this weekend to keep up to date with forecasts.
“After nearly 3 weeks of easterlies the pattern we’ve been stuck in looks set to change after this weekend.  That means cooler, showery more winter-like weather for the North Island and more frost breaking winds over the South”. 
And Duncan says there is some good news.  “A high should spread drying conditions over the North Island by early next week while west or north west winds in the South could bringing some slightly warmer temperatures, breaking the frosts…hopefully a real flip of the weather patterns for both islands”.  He says the high in the Tasman following this weekends low should also act as a “lid” limiting the development of further deep lows in the area for a week or so.
- Very windy and cold conditions across eastern Australia.  Sydney still matching or well below Auckland’s temperatures.
- Heavy snow for ski fields in both Islands this weekend.
- Apologies for no rain updates from the Weather Watch Centre in Napier/Hawke’s Bay over the past two days. (due to an unwell weather man!)
“If God had meant Wimbledon to be played in great weather, he would’ve put it in Acapulco” – British Tennis Official



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It doesn’t happen too often but so far this month it’s been consistent.  Some parts of Australia are well below average for this time of year making New Zealand look like the place to holiday if you want a little warmth! This morning crunchy grass, frozen ponds and ice on widescreens, greeted those in Sydney.  The air temperature dropped to just 3 degrees - at the exact same time it was 11 degrees in Auckland.
“Both Sydney’s overnight lows and day time highs have been either equal to or a few degrees below Auckland for the past few weeks and this week is no different” says Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan of The Radio Network.  “The lows in the Tasman which have been feeding down warm air over the North Island have also been sending bitterly cold air up Australia’s east coast”.
Mr Duncan says it’s worth pointing out that Sydney has the same latitude as Cape Reinga.
In Canberra snow is forecast to fall starting tonight lasting through tomorrow, however snow falls aren’t likely to be heavy.
And Duncan says it’s the mild air from the current low centred near Auckland’s west coast which will mean a frost free week for the North Island and most of the South.  “With historically the coldest weather of the year now upon us I’m starting to wonder if in fact our coldest weather has already been.  We seem to be stuck in an easterly pattern which is bringing warmer wetter to the North Island at least”. 



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        Snow for Aussie capital

-         A mild, frost free, week for most of New Zealand



It doesn’t happen too often but so far this month it’s been consistent.  Some parts of Australia are well below average for this of year making New Zealand look like the place to holiday if you want a little warmth!  This morning in Sydney it’s currently 3 degrees well below its average and far below Auckland which is currently on 11 degrees.  “Both Sydney’s overnight lows and day time highs have been either equal to or a few degrees below Auckland for the past few weeks and this week is no different” says Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan from TRN.  “The lows in the Tasman which have been feeding down warm air over the North Island have been sending bitterly cold air up Australia’s east coast”.


Mr Duncan says it’s worth pointing out that Sydney has the same latitude as Cape Reinga.
Forecasters are tonight and tomorrow expecting snow to fall in Canberra.  “However due to the dryness of the air it shouldn’t be very heavy”.
And it’s the mild air from the current low centred near Auckland’s west coast which will mean a frost free week for the North Island and most of the South.  “I’m starting to wonder if our coldest weather has already been, due to this easterly pattern we seem to be stuck in”.  However a large high set to move in early next week could see a return to clear skies and frosty mornings across the country.  “We’re just not seeing the usual cold southerlies this year, certainly over the North Island anyway”.



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One more low this week, then clearing weather for all
Central Otago still frosty this week…end in sight though?


A band of heavy rain is slowly moving down Northland and should reach Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty later this morning.  Winds picked up a little in Auckland overnight with a few strong gusts, but most of the big winds remained offshore.  Winds of up to 105km/h are still blasting the Hauraki Gulf.

The warm front moving across the North Island is going to bring a lift to temperatures this week.  Auckland can expect highs tomorrow and later this week of around 16 maybe 17 degrees.  Further north, places may even reach into 18 or 19.  Overnight lows right across the North Island should be much higher with very few frosts expected, if any.  It was around minus 2 in Kapiti this morning, the only part of the North Island dipping below zero.
Over the South Island Invercargill and Westland will be sunnier than the east coast with Central Otago still being affected by severe frosts.  TRN’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says the feels like temperature in Queenstown is currently minus 10.  In Dunedin it is minus 6.  “This large high is still covering the lower half of the South Island.  It should gradually slide away but the week will be a frosty cold one again for Central Otago”.
Duncan says the end of the frosts could be in sight.  “A low, bigger than the one over the north today, should form in the central Tasman.  By Thursday or Friday winds will pick up right across the country.  It’s likely to be a showery Friday or Weekend for many”.  However a large high south of Australia could mean clearing skies finally for the North Island by the end of this weekend.
But before that Duncan says those living in Northland should keep up to date with the rain amounts expected with this Tasman Low.  “Although the low won’t be as near to Northland as the past two, the associated fronts could bring some heavy rain again to the area”.