Christmas Day Outlook

December 18, 2014

Christmas is fast approaching and by far the most frequent question coming into the forecast room over the last week has been “BBQs or Brollies? What’s the forecast for Christmas Day?” We have had a very changeable December so far with a cool start, followed by rain and strong winds sinking over the North Island, while the South basked in sunshine and high temperatures.

Although many of us will be getting the chance to have a few days at home and relax over the Christmas period, the weather unfortunately doesn’t take a festive break. The uncertainties involved in forecasting the weather increase with every time step away from now, which means the forecast for tomorrow will be more accurate than one that is made for ten days in the future.

Here are the latest thoughts from the forecast room for Christmas Day:

Higher pressure looks to be the dominant feature, centred out to the east of the country near the Chatham Islands, while a front sits to the southwest of New Zealand. This set up should leave the country in a more northerly feed of air, resulting in average or slightly above average temperatures. In terms of rainfall, showers are possible over the North Island, especially in the north and west, also for the West Coast of the South Island.

“There has been some very good agreement in the computer model guidance over the last few model runs” said MetService meteorologist John Law. “However, as we know in New Zealand, subtle changes in the pattern can cause very different weather. Think about the differences we see with the warm northwesterly winds over Christchurch compared to those cooler cloudier conditions when the winds are coming in from the northeast” he added.

Between now and Christmas Day the MetService team will be monitoring data from multiple computer models and satellites along with thousands of radar images and observations across the country. As per usual, the forecast room will be operational 24 hours a day right through the Christmas period.

Keep up to date with the latest forecasts and any watches/warnings at 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 on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com.

For further information please contact:
John Law Meteorologist 04 4700 754

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