A look ahead to the New Year

December 29, 2015

The recent theme of warm and mostly dry weather is set to continue until the New Year.  This news will no doubt be welcomed by holiday makers, but not be what farmers in already parched areas want to hear.

It’s another mostly sunny and warm day across the country today, as a narrow ridge of high pressure remains over central New Zealand.  MetService meteorologist Peter Little commented, “The highest temperatures are expected about northern and inland parts of the North Island, also inland parts of the South Island, where temperatures could reach 30C in some places”.  This daytime heat, combined with instability in the atmosphere, may produce a few showers over the South Island, with the possibility of a thunderstorm or two about inland Otago.

The ridge of high pressure slides eastwards on Wednesday, allowing a front to move northwards over southern and central New Zealand, followed by cooler southwesterlies.  Meanwhile, another front moves onto the west of the North Island. “Despite the high losing its grip on the country, these frontal features are weak, so although most places will see more cloud than in recent days, only scattered showers are likely”, commented Little.

A new ridge of high pressure builds over southern and central New Zealand on New Year’s Eve, whilst a northeasterly flow develops further north.  “For much of the country fine and warm weather returns to welcome in the New Year, although isolated showers are expected about northern and inland parts of the North Island”, added Little.

With the New Year comes the likelihood of a period of rain for northern and central New Zealand, as a strong, moist northeasterly flow drags sub-tropical air southwards.  “Heavy falls are possible, especially in the north on Saturday, so people are advised to check the forecast and plan accordingly”, said Little.

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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