Warming up for the holidays

December 20, 2015

Holiday makers receive an early Christmas present from Australia in the form of hot temperatures across the country on Monday, with the potential to break a few records on the South Island east coast.

Warm air from Australia sweeps east across New Zealand today and tomorrow. “On Monday strong northwesterlies develop ahead of an approaching front, adding a Foehn heating effect to areas east of the Southern Alps”, said meteorologist Tom Adams. “Current predictions have temperatures in the 30s from Dunedin to Picton, with Blenheim poised to break December records with a good chance of 36 degrees”. Although in February 1973 Blenheim airport hit 37.8 degrees, the maximum recorded in December was 33.2 degrees in 1948. Temperatures will be in the 20s for most of the North Island, with high twenties in the east.

The flipside of warm northwesterlies is increasing the fire risk in the east, and wet spells in the west. Rain spreads north up the West Coast ahead of the front on Monday into Tuesday. The front clears the South Island late Tuesday, bringing a spell of showers to the North Island on Wednesday. Behind the front a ridge builds in from the south, bringing cooler but settled weather into the Christmas holidays. There is still significant variation in the models in the amount of moisture lingering behind the front. At the moment the best pick is mainly fine with a few showers popping up in the afternoon across the country.

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 and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com

For further information please contact:
Tom Adams Meteorologist (04)4700848

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