High pressure over New Zealand but Tropical Cyclone Ula to the north

January 10, 2016

Strong winds overnight for the south of the country have now begun to ease as a ridge of high pressure moves onto New Zealand. The highest gust was recorded early on Sunday morning at Mid Dome, where the wind gusted to 193 km/h. Mt. Cook experienced gusts up to 118 km/h, and Invercargill reached 113 km/h.

The ridge of high pressure moving onto the country today and into Monday means that there will be fine and settled weather for many. The exceptions to this will be brief showers moving up the east of the North Island with a southerly change today and a few showers for Canterbury High Country this afternoon. Tomorrow, a weak trough is expected to bring cloud and a few showers to central North Island areas.

On Tuesday, Tropical Cyclone Ula is expected to move southwards out of the tropics. It should sit approximately 500 – 600 km north of Cape Reinga by the end of Tuesday. Currently a category 4 cyclone sitting between Vanuatu and Fiji, Tropical Cyclone Ula should weaken and transform into a low pressure system as it moves southwards.

“Due to its distance from the country, the worst of the wind and rain are expected to remain well north of us,” said MetService meteorologist Claire Flynn. “However, tropical moisture associated with this system is likely to spread over northern New Zealand on Tuesday. This will bring rain to northern parts of the country, with a low chance that rain accumulations could reach warning criteria in Northland.”

Beyond Tuesday, there is uncertainty regarding the path that Tropical Cyclone Ula might follow.

“At this stage, the most likely scenario is that Ula will move south-eastwards, remaining well offshore of New Zealand,” Flynn said. “However, due to the uncertainty in the forecast track, MetService meteorologists will continue to monitor the movement of this system and, if necessary, Severe Weather Watches and Warnings will be issued in due course.”

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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