A new High for the New Year?

December 27, 2015

After a stunning Christmas, New Zealand can look forward to some more fine conditions before the weather becomes unsettled during the middle of the week.  New Year’s Eve sees an improvement as a ridge pushes in from the southwest to start 2016, but will it be in time for the celebrations?

“Christmas Day and Boxing Day were warm and sunny, with just a few morning showers in the north, clearing Auckland Christmas morning but lingering about the Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty until early Boxing Day”, said meteorologist Tom Adams. “Wellington averaged 13 hours of sunshine a day, while highest Christmas Day temperatures were around Kawerau and Cromwell with 26.4 degrees. On Boxing Day Central Otago temperatures crept as high as 30.9 degrees.”

The fine weather is the result of a High sitting over the country.  Over the next few days this ridge of high pressure will be squeezed from the west by a trough, and from the east by a deep low. The low will bring strong winds to the Chatham Islands Monday night and good swells to the east coast on Tuesday, but is not expected to significantly impact mainland New Zealand.  The two systems vying for control provide a source of moist air under the ridge, so cloud will increase through the week. By Wednesday the High weakens and showers spread across most parts.

On New Year’s Eve a new ridge of high pressure starts building over southern and central New Zealand, bringing an improvement in the weather.  Conditions look more variable over the upper North Island, with a moderate chance of showers in the north and east to take them into the New Year.  New Year’s Day looks like it could be similar to Christmas Day, with fine weather in central areas but a few showers in the north.  The biggest difference is that the East Coast looks like it might also see some rain. On New Year’s Day Wellington and Christchurch have strong odds of staying dry, while Auckland has a moderate chance of some showers. Just like the Christmas forecasts however, it all hangs on just where the High ends up.

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 

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