A Taste of the Tropics this weekend

January 18, 2018

High humidity, hot temperatures and periods of prolonged and heavy rain are on the cards for the next few days, as tropical air continues to stream down over New Zealand. The weekend itself is spared the worst of the rain, and Saturday afternoon will see plenty of fine spells around the country. However, heavy rain warnings are currently in force for the upper North Island through to tomorrow morning, with more heavy rain expected on Monday.

“Tropical air frequently journeys south to our shores, but it is unusual for it to stick around so long,” explained meteorologist Tom Adams. “The reason is a blocking high east of the country – similar to the blocking high that sat over New Zealand for much of November and early December, leading to prolonged dry weather. However, the high being to the east of New Zealand means the country sees persistent northerly winds dragging down humid tropical air, rather than fending it off.”

Image showing warm air streaming down from the tropics over New Zealand

Heavy rain warnings have been issued for Northland, Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula and northern Taranaki, with over 100mm of rain expected to accumulate and localised downpours of 25 to 40mm per hour. The rain will ease tomorrow, but Friday remains a rainy day for the North Island. The South Island should be mostly warm and sunny.

The weekend will also see cloud and patchy rain, especially about the hills, before the rain intensifies on Monday with possible heavy falls for the upper North Island and the West Coast. Monday is Wellington Anniversary Day (also celebrated by Manawatu) but, unfortunately, they too can expect some cloud and rain.

Although heavy rain does briefly cool the air, in general temperatures will be warm and sticky through the weekend. Temperatures in several towns across both Islands are expected to top 30 degrees. Combined with high humidity, this means a few more sleepless nights to come.

Rain eases off by Wednesday next week, and settled weather resumes with high pressure shifting back over New Zealand. The humid air will remain trapped at the surface, so warm temperatures will continue but the worst of the rain will take a break.

Official Severe Weather Watches and Warnings are reviewed and re-issued by MetService at least every twelve hours, and more often if necessary. To get the most up to date information on severe weather around the country, or any other forecasts, see metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook@metservice and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com