Stormy weather to start April

April 4, 2016

A blocking high pressure system lying over and to the east of New Zealand dominated our weather during March. For the first half of the month, the High prevailed over the country, meaning the first half of the month was rather dry for most regions. For the second half of March, the High waned, allowing intermittent northerly rain events in. Unusually heavy northerly rain was observed in Northland on the 16th, in Whitianga and New Plymouth on the 17th, and the western Bay of Plenty on the 18th. Nelson, Blenheim, Buller and the West Coast received extremely heavy rain on the 23rd and 24th, with Franz Josef declaring a State of Emergency. “In contrast, it was unusually dry for the Kapiti Coast, Wellington, and the Wairarapa, with only a quarter of usual March rainfall recorded in these regions,” said MetService Meteorologist Georgina Griffiths.

The combination of warm seas in the New Zealand region, and prevailing northerly winds, produced a much warmer than usual March across the country.

“The blocking high pressure that has strongly influenced our weather over the last three months finally takes a holiday for the first half of April, with a change to active weather features,” commented Griffiths. “Next week looks very stormy, with low pressures and strong winds.”

Above average temperatures are forecast to continue in April for the North Island north of about Whanganui to Napier, with more muted warmth expected for all other regions. “But keeping up with the forecast is going to be essential next week, with a stormy and changeable week signalled for many regions,” noted Griffiths.  “Temperatures look on the cooler side next week, so expect to get out that winter wardrobe.”

Above normal April rainfall totals are forecast for Buller, Westland, Fiordland, Southland and Otago. Below normal April rainfall is predicted for regions north of Lake Taupo (including Taupo). In all other regions, namely the eastern North Island and from New Plymouth to Wellington, and also for the north and east of the South Island, closer to normal April rainfall totals are forecast.


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